Jamaica: Teachers reject wage offer

The General Council of EI affiliate the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) has rejected the government's wage offer for the 2006 to 2008 contract period.

The JTA, which represents 20,000 public sector teachers, will also withdraw from discussions led by the Technical Committee of the Public Sector Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). JTA President Ruel Reid, commenting on the government’s offer of a 6% increase on basic salary for the average public school teacher in 2006 and 5% in the second year of the 2006-2008, said "The association believes that this offer is an insult to the hardworking and dedicated teachers of Jamaica,". The association had initially demanded a 30 per cent increase in year one and 25 per cent in year two. "We cannot guarantee a smooth start of the next school term unless we receive a satisfactory salary package from the Government," Reid said. The JTA's rejection could derail negotiations for a successor agreement to the Public Sector Memorandum of Understanding. The Ministry of Finance is trying to reach consensus with various public sector groups before the MOU, through which teachers and other public sector workers have not had a salary increase for two years, expires on 31 March.

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