JTA: Don't allow new teachers to wait four months for first pay cheque

JTA: Don't allow new teachers to wait four months for first pay cheque

SPEID... it is cruelty

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James – President of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) Owen Speid has called on Government to ensure that new teachers entering the classroom in public schools do not wait for a protracted period of time before they start receiving their salaries.

Speid, who was addressing the JTA's half-yearly meeting at the St John's Methodist Church in Montego Bay, St James on Friday, noted that new teachers sometimes have to wait up to four months before getting their first pay cheque.

“When they start teaching, they don't get paid for two months, three months, four months. But, they [Government] expect these teachers to dress up and come to school on time; it is cruelty,” he argued.

He added: “You can just imagine if a teacher is there for two months without pay, paying bus fare every day, finding lunch money to come (to school), finding [a] jacket to dress up and look good, and light bill is to be paid. Even if they live with parents, the parents are going to say to them, 'start putting in something now'. Landlord are not believing [that they have not been paid] and parents not believing them. They believe they get it [salary] and hide it.”

The president of the over 24,000-member strong association also stated that he is becoming increasingly concerned about teachers retiring from the education system for more than a year without receiving their pension.

Speid said, too, that there are teachers who have died without their beneficiaries receiving money, adding that he wants teachers to start getting pension payments a month after going on retirement.

“It is important that we say to the government that as soon as teachers retire they must start getting their pension the next month. Because, you (Government) know their date of birth, they know when you are going to become 60 or 65 [years old]. The Government needs to move with speed so that when teachers retire they get their pension the same month, if possible. Why this hold-up? It is cruel,” Speid said.

“When you retire, you are getting older and older. You cannot do without your medication. In other words, if you retire and there is no pension coming in, how [are] you going to buy your medication?” he asked.

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