Brown Burke rejects differentiated compensation to teachers based on vaccination statusWednesday, July 28, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica—Minister of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Education and Training, Dr Angela Brown Burke, said she is alarmed by reports which suggest that the Prime Minister is putting teachers on notice that there could be differences in compensation based on vaccination status.
Dr Brown Burke insisted that the Government must take a more democratic and inclusive approach to governance and avoid mandatory policies around vaccination of teachers where possible. She suggests that the Government work toward creating meaningful partnerships with teachers and principals so that they may be better able to address the fears and concerns of our teachers.
The MP further shared that she too understands the fears and frustrations of the Government as COVID-19 case numbers indicate a third wave of infections, which could negatively affect face-to-face learning, the economy and daily life.
“The high levels of hesitancy in the population to take the vaccine, likely driven by the rapid spread of misinformation and the fear of a worsening pandemic, are cause for concern,” a statement from Brown Burke said.
Dr Brown Burke stated that she believes it would be wise for focus group discussions to be held alongside vaccine education workshops. She opined that “sustained dialogue with teachers and principals to identify and allay the concerns expressed will go a far way in increasing the number of vaccinated public school professionals.”
She further insisted that the Prime Minister refrain from any mention of differentiated compensation because of vaccination status amongst teachers, and reminded the government that the past year-and-a-half has been difficult for many and that the trauma of a global pandemic is being felt by all.
“It is our duty as elected officials to advocate for the protection of our citizens but we must do so in a way that takes into consideration their concerns, fears and challenges,” Dr Brown Burke said.
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