Outstanding money, transfers hot topics for JTA conference
MARTHA BRAE, Trelawny — All is set for the 50th staging of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) Annual General which will commence at Hilton Rose Hall Hotel and Spa in Montego Bay, St James today.
Outgoing JTA President Dr Mark Nicely said the approximately $1 billion owed to the nation's teachers by Government will be among the issues up for discussion during the three-day conference.
"We had a meeting in May [and] we got a commitment from the Government, via the Ministry of Finance; we are [now] hearing that there are issues at this late stage. We are hearing that some teachers are going to be paid and others will not be paid. That is not to our liking because you are almost setting us up in a sense," Dr Nicely argued. "... So we are asking the ministry to do what is necessary to pay all the teachers."
Another pressing topic on the table for discussion is what Dr Nicely described as a clandestine approach by Government in the transfer of teachers.
"We have noticed a kind of Nicodemus approach by the Ministry of Education. Teachers are being called at all hours of the night, on week-ends to ask them to sign up to move to another schools. And we support the initiative, (but) we are asking the Ministry of Education and its officers to operate in a professional manner. We expect the highest level of professionalism from the Ministry officials," Dr Nicely said.
The JTA president was speaking with the Jamaica Observer following the delivery of his keynote address at the third annual Trelawny People's Cooperative Bank of Jamaica GSAT Scholarship Awards at the Water Wheel in Martha Brae, Trelawny .
Five students were awarded scholarships.