Teachers want ‘fair due.'

Publication Date: 
Thursday, May 18, 2023

TWO UNION leaders have reacted to the significant increases approved for the political directorate.

President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), La Sonja Harrison, said that she was not envious of any package received by any public sector worker but is insisting that the teachers should be granted a “livable wage”.

“I am sure this is certainly disheartening to so many teachers and I don’t think the teachers are begrudging any grouping of public sector workers of what they received, what the teachers are asking for is their fair due,” she said.

The JTA boss said that there are many unresolved issues in the compensation review that the Government was yet to iron out for teachers.

President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, Helene Davis Whyte, said while there might be an outcry from some quarters to the hike in pay to the political directorate, the question of how the country pays this group of people must be examined.

“I expect that there will be people who will come out against it, in the same way that some people didn’t feel that there should be persons in the public sector who moved from $6 million to $18 million (per year),” Davis Whyte said.

“It is a difficult situation and people in Jamaica generally may feel that political representatives should not get reasonable pay,” she said.

Acknowledging that salary increase to politicians is an emotive issue, Davis Whyte said: “I know that people will be coming out and saying because they are politicians they don’t deserve it and they shouldn’t get it, but sometimes you have to ask yourselves the question ‘do you want politicians to be paid at a level which doesn’t allow them to spend the time on the job and open them up to bribes’.”

She said the same case is made for public sector workers for them to be paid at a level where they will be able to take care of their basic obligations.

2023 Live Stream