TIP Friendly Society offers teachers new COVID-resilient productSunday, May 09, 2021
The island's teachers can now access another welfare benefit as part of a partnership between the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) and TIP Friendly Society.
Teachers who qualify for a loan of up to $500,000 from TIP Friendly Society will benefit from a 20 per cent interest rate — one of the lowest on the market. They will receive a prepaid TIP Lifeline/ePay Mastercard to access the loan and which can be used at all points of sale, ATMs, for online transactions and anywhere in the world that Mastercard is accepted.
In endorsing the new product at a virtual launch recently, president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, Jasford Gabriel, said such a benefit could not have come at a better time.
He spoke to the additional challenges teachers have had to face since April 1, 2021 with a further reduction in pay because of the continued deductions as part of a five-year pension arrangement and an increase in the NIS ceiling. According to the JTA president, the matter is further compounded by the fact that a number of teachers who had contracts until August 2021 were taken off the payroll in December 2020 and although JTA renegotiated a reinstatement of their employment contracts, they were without pay for two months.
“So as we try to calm their nerves, we keep looking for viable options for them to stay afloat and TIP Friendly has provided such an option. This means that instead of educators having to borrow from family and friends, which puts them in an embarrassing position, there is an alternative with dignity,” Gabriel said.
In addressing the matter of survival during this pandemic period, the JTA president lauded businesses who are using technology to take their products and services into the 21st century to benefit their consumers.
He said every business needs to be creative and find new solutions to retain and gain new customers. “The creative ones see opportunities where ordinary persons see challenges. Smart businesses which adjust their capabilities in the current situation, instead of panicking, are the ones which will survive.
“I know of schools that are moving ahead through technology and parents who ask to stay online when the island gets back to face-to-face learning, because they are excited that technology provides an alternative way of learning,” Gabriel said.
The co-branded TIP Friendly/ePay Mastercard, which has been activated, is facilitated by Alliance Financial Services, through its agencies islandwide and is aimed at reducing face-to-face interaction, while providing a COVID-resilient service to TIP Friendly Society members. EPay provides technological support and accounting systems.
At the virtual launch, Gabriel was presented jointly with a personalised Mastercard by president of TIP Friendly Society, Ray Howell; general manager of TIP Friendly Society, Wilton South; treasurer of TIP Friendly Society, Clayton Hall; Peter Chin, president of Alliance Financial Services and Kavin Hewitt, CEO of the ePayment Group.
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