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Teachers to return to schools tomorrow

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The three-day sick-out being staged by the nation's teachers is to end as, according to the Labour Ministry, the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) has agreed that normalcy will be restored to schools come tomorrow.

The ministry said the JTA along with the Ministries of  Finance and Education signed an agreement at the emergency conciliation meeting convened at its North Street office this morning.

Also stipulated in the agreement are that negotiations at the local level will resume at the Finance Ministry on Friday at 10:00 am; there will be a suspension of School's Bulletin No. 42/2018 from the Education Ministry dated March 13 in respect to payment of retroactive salaries and payment of revised salaries pending further deliberation and negotiation at the local level between the parties at the meeting arranged for March 16; and that there will be no victimisation on either side.

On Monday a significant number of the island's 23,000 public school teachers embarked on what sources said was a three-day sick-out or sit-in protest against the Government's wage offer of a 16 per cent increase over a four-year period.

For the second straight day yesterday, majority of public school teachers stayed away from classrooms as they continued their protest.

On Monday, hundreds of students were dislocated as few teachers showed up to classes resulting in some schools closing their doors early, while others had to employ strategic deployment of staff and some had to get backup personnel to man classes and teach students.

Yesterday the situation continued with low numbers of teachers reporting for duty and several schools having to forego classes and close their doors, despite instructions from the Ministry of Education that all public schools be kept open.

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