Slackness in high places

Letters to the Editor

Slackness in high places

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

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Dear Editor,

It is now over a week since the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) lecturers have been on strike. I can't say I blame them even though the students are suffering. The fact is the workers go to the supermarket, the doctor, and they have bills to pay just like everyone else.

The UTech salary disagreement has been going on for too many years now. Both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP) have bungled this issue. PNP and JLP dropped the ball here. Be that as it may, the JLP has the cup in front of it now as the sitting Government.

The lecturers have an agreement that a certain portion of the back money owed to them would have been paid last month. I have to ask two burning questions here. Who was monitoring the implementation of this agreement? Was it Ministry of Education or Ministry of Finance? Who will be held accountable for this crisis?

I see Karl Samuda, 'acting minister of education', saying on media that Dr Grace McLean, acting permanent secretary and the management at the Ministry of Education had to stay up till 2:00 am to hammer their most recent offer to the UTech lecturers. Pardon me if I sound rude, but why was that necessary, if they had been doing their jobs all along?

Is the Government having a cash flow challenge?

This looks bad on the Ministry of Education, bad on the Ministry of Finance, and bad on Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

This whole thing looks like a whole lot of slackness in high places. That is clear to me.

Clifford Thomas

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