Sheryl Barnaby West, President of the Kingston Chapter of the Jamaica Teachers' Association
By Halshane Burke
A meeting at the Labour Ministry involving representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Jamaica Teachers' Association on Friday morning has been described as fruitful.
The Ministry of Labour called the emergency conciliatory meeting at its North Street Office in Kingston with a view to preventing further strike action by teachers.
Radio Jamaica News was informed that the stakeholders were able to cross several hurdles and agree on several issues.
Up to news time, it was not clear if the teacher protests planned for next week will go ahead.
Teachers stayed away from the classroom Thursday to protest what they describe as a failure by the Ministries of Finance and Education to address concerns relating to their salaries.
Instruction has also been halted Friday at public schools across several parishes as teachers again stayed away from the classroom.
Reports reaching the Radio Jamaica News are that some school administrators sent out messages to parents that school would remain closed as teachers continued their strike.
Several teachers attached to the Manchester and St. Elizabeth teachers' associations are staging a march to bring attention to their plight and the continued stalemate between the JTA and the Finance Ministry.
Sheryl Barnaby West, President of the Kingston Chapter of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, led a protest in front of the Ministry of Finance on Friday morning, calling for the wage issues affecting teachers to be resolved.
"Several teachers are aching and ailing over this situation, not being able to pay their loans, to pay bills, to deal with their children. We are sending back children to schools, children going on to university. We know some of us don't know which way to turn. Some are pretty OK and we are not begrudging of anyone who is fine," said Mrs Barnaby West.
"Honourable Minister, we are asking you, please, just to fix it," she pleaded.
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