KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Education and Youth has implemented measures to ensure that new teachers are paid in the month of September.
A total of 1,155 new teachers have joined the education sector.
Portfolio Minister Fayval Williams said that under normal circumstances for a teacher to be paid in a particular month, the employment documents must be submitted by the last working day of the previous month.
“For example, to be paid in September, all relevant employment documents must be submitted to the ministry by the last working day in the month of August. However, given that many of the new teachers were employed this month, the ministry extended the deadline for submission to September 12 and deployed the accounting staff to work overtime and on weekends to process the submissions,” she explained.
The minister was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
She informed that the ministry received files for 782 new teachers on or before the September 12, deadline. Of the total, 624 were processed, and 158 were deemed incomplete because they did not meet the required standard to enable payment.
In addition, 373 new teachers’ files were submitted after the extended deadline.
“Given the importance of salary payment to our teachers, the ministry will do an out-of-cycle payroll during the last week of September to ensure that the 373 new teachers’ files that were received late, after September 12, the 158 new teachers with incomplete files and any other submissions that are sent to the ministry by September 25 are processed, once all required payment documents are submitted,” Williams told the House.
The Accountant General’s Department also confirmed that the payroll process has begun with $2 billion already released into the accounts of bursar-paid schools, which are those high schools that pay teachers directly.
“There is an ‘all hands-on deck effort’ to ensure salary payments for all teachers, including new teachers for this month, despite the short period that schools had to recruit and hire new teachers,” Williams said.
Meanwhile, the education minister told the House that there was a sudden resignation of scores of teachers, especially in the week before back-to-school, even though the Education Act and Regulations call for permanent teachers to give three months’ notice, and for those who are temporary the resignation notice period is one month.
“In some cases, resignation letters were dated the same day as the effective date of the resignation. While we cannot stop teachers from making their personal decisions to resign, we ask for observance of the law,” Williams said.