More Money for Some Teachers

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) President Leighton Johnson says he is relieved that there is now an agreement in place on some outstanding allowances left hanging when the new compensation package for teachers was signed last year.

"There is always some amount of relief on the basis that these matters have been settled. From inception, we from the JTA maintained our position that what was agreed to was not what was implemented," Johnson told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.

He noted that what was offered during negotiations, which culminated in December, had to do with the implementation of teachers' graduate allowance as well as the remote inducement allowance being calculated on the current salary scale.

"We fought for that [the increased payments] and we are now in receipt of that," said Johnson.

"So, from our insistence, I'm really happy that the Government has seen the error and has taken immediate steps to correcting those errors to ensure as best as possible, our teachers get at this point, what it is that we agreed to," he added as he insisted that the JTA tried to get the best deal from the compensation review process.

In a release on Sunday evening, Johnson explained that the graduate allowance and the remote inducement allowance were not applied to the salaries of teachers who fell into those categories arising from the compensation review.

"After much deliberation, and with the insistence of the JTA, the Government has now agreed with our position as follows: one increment to be given to each individual with a master's degree as at April 1, 2022; two increments to be given to each individual with a doctoral degree as at April 1, 2022; persons in receipt of the remote inducement allowance as at April 1, 2022 will have the allowance calculated as per the new salary scale arising from the conclusion of the compensation review process," he said.

In terms of the implementation schedule, Johnson said the new salary is to be paid April 2024 and that retroactive amounts for the period April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2024 should be paid in two instalments — 60 per cent in August 2024 and the remaining 40 per cent in December 2024.

"The Jamaica Teachers' Association wishes to assure its members that we will be proactive and vigilant in ensuring that the calculations are accurately computed. To this end, we will work closely with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance to ensure that all parties agree on the amounts to be paid prior to the April 2024 implementation date and the subsequent retroactive payments due in August and December 2024," Johnson said in the release.

Johnson told the Observer that for the other matters outstanding concerning automatic increment and mileage, the JTA will continue to monitor those events, "and from the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions' position, we will continue to monitor the progress of those two items".

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