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Some teachers yet to receive March salary

La Sonja Harrison
By Prince Moore/Lorraine Mendez 
 
Despite an assurance from Education Minister Fayval Williams that the majority of teachers would be paid today, the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) says a number of teachers are still without their March salary.
 
JTA President La Sonja Harrison told Radio Jamaica News she is still receiving calls from teachers to notify her that their salaries have not been reflected in their accounts. 
 
"What some persons saw from even last week would have been monies posted but they couldn't have access to it or they also saw their pay slip going up on the MyHR system and then it's taken down. So that has caused a lot of turbulence and angst, I would say, among the teaching fraternity," she noted.
 
The JTA president said the teachers are frustrated and demotivated by "the usual disrespect", as they struggle to meet their obligations. 
 
The Education Minister today said a majority of the almost 25,000 teachers were not paid last week due to a necessary updating of the system to facilitate the payment of retroactive salaries.
 
But the JTA president has suggested that the Ministry of Finance immediately provide the regular pay for teachers this month and facilitate the payment of retroactive sums as soon as possible. 
 
"We want to value the teachers. We want to ensure that they get what is duly, what is rightfully theirs. So, let us pay them their monies and then we do a supplementary payroll in short succession and pay the teachers the retroactive sums."
 
Mrs Harrison has also called for greater transparency in the payment of salaries to teachers. 
 
"I don't know when we will reach a stage in this nation that we truly value the teachers to just pay them well in the first place and then whatever is their due, that they get it in a timely manner and they get it in a respectable manner where it is that they can clearly see the difference between what was and what is, and for them to know that there has been absolutely no shortchanging intentional or unintentional, because the truth is, because of the haste in which things are being done, some legitimate challenges can arise as a result of that," she argued. 
 
Mrs Harrison said the Jamaica Teachers' Association is prepared to act on behalf of teachers who wish to clarify aspects of their new salary or retroactive payments. 
 
The JTA signed the wage agreement with the Ministry of Finance on March 13. It was signed by JTA president-elect Leighton Johnson after Mrs Harrison indicated she was unavailable to sign.
 
When asked why she declined to sign the agreement, Mrs Harrison promised to provide a response at a later date.
 


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