Labour Ministry intervenes in teachers' dispute with gov't
The Labour Ministry has intervened in the wage dispute between the government and the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA).
The ministry has called an emergency conciliation meeting among the JTA, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
This is in response to an islandwide protest by government-paid teachers since yesterday.
The meeting is scheduled for 2 o'clock this afternoon.
JTA president Georgia Waugh Richards says public school teachers are disgruntled over the decision of the government to conduct wage negotiations based on a four-year contract period, instead of the customary two-year period.
Additionally, Waugh Richards says given the overall freeze on allowances and the meagre raise on basic salaries, the JTA membership is not pleased with the refusal of the government to consider an increase in the book and software allowance that is given to teachers.
Education Minister Ruel Reid had said that the government was not aware of the reason for the teachers' protest.
Speaking on Television Jamaica's Smile Jamaica this morning, Reid said the JTA didn't formally inform the government of the reason for the industrial action.
The education minister also said the wage dispute with the teachers had been formally referred to the Ministry of Labour for resolution.
He said there is a process to be followed when there is a breakdown in negotiations and that is now being pursued.