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JTA says it’s prepared to fight for rights of teachers

Thursday, April 03, 2014    

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THE Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) warned Tuesday that it was prepared to take its fight on the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) Bill international if the review being carried out by the National Council on Education did not address concerns raised by teachers across the island.

"We remain firm on the issues that we have raised and we are expecting that good sense will prevail and if good sense fails to prevail the association is prepared to do all that is necessary to ensure that the welfare of the nation's teachers are taken into consideration," said JTA President Dr Mark Nicely.

He was speaking Tuesday at the JTA headquarters in Kingston during a press briefing to launch the association's 50th anniversary celebrations.

"We will do what we can in our geographical location Jamaica, but if needs be we will take our fight on the international scene because it is a case of no retreat no surrender when it comes on to ensuring that the terms and conditions of service of the nation's teachers are maintained at a particular level," said Nicely.

"We have given a comprehensive submission [and] we sincerely hope that they will study the document intensely and that good sense will prevail," he added.

On Tuesday, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said he was expecting to receive a feedback from the National Council on Education on the review of Jamaica Teaching Council Bill by the end of April.

The education ministry said that the council, with its broad-based membership, was the competent body to coordinate the review of the draft bill.

"We have heard the minister of education indicate that he has given a deadline for them (National Council on Education) to give him a feed back," said Nicely

The JTA, in response, said it would not compromise quality with time. "Time is important but quality is more important and we are seeking to ensure that when this Bill would have been passed in to law it would be something that will serve the best interest of the nation's teachers, the nation's children and the development of our country as a whole," said Nicely.

The JTA earlier this year rejected proposals in the draft legislation to establish the Jamaica Teaching Council, describing them as ill-conceived and a violation of fundamental rights.

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