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Education Minister in Jamaica, Fayval Williams, speaking in Parliament. (JIS Photo)

Jamaica: Scores of teachers resign

September 21, 2023

CMC – Education minister in Jamaica, Fayval Williams, says an estimated 1,155 new teachers who joined the education sector will receive salaries in September, after the ministry implemented measures to ensure that they are paid.

Williams told Parliament that under normal circumstances, for a teacher to be paid in a particular month, the employment documents must be submitted by the last working day of the previous month.

“For example, to be paid in September, all relevant employment documents must be submitted to the Ministry by the last working day in the month of August. However, given that many of the new teachers were employed this month, the Ministry extended the deadline for submission to September 12 and deployed the accounting staff to work overtime and on weekends to process the submissions.”

She told legislators that the Ministry had received files for 782 new teachers on or before the September 12, deadline and of that total, 624 had been processed, and 158 were deemed incomplete because they did not meet the required standard to enable payment.

In addition, 373 new teachers’ files were submitted after the extended deadline.

“Given the importance of salary payment to our teachers, the Ministry will do an out-of-cycle payroll during the last week of September to ensure that the 373 new teachers’ files that were received late, after September 12, the 158 new teachers with incomplete files and any other submissions that are sent to the Ministry by September 25 are processed, once all required payment documents are submitted,” the Education Minister added.

The Accountant General’s Department also confirmed that the payroll process has begun with two billion dollars (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) already released into the accounts of bursar-paid schools, which are those high schools that pay teachers directly.

“There is an ‘all hands-on deck effort’ to ensure salary payments for all teachers, including new teachers for this month, despite the short period that schools had to recruit and hire new teachers,” Williams said.

The Education Minister also confirmed that there had been the sudden resignation of scores of teachers, especially in the week before back-to-school, even though the Education Act and Regulations call for permanent teachers to give three months’ notice, and for those who are temporary the resignation notice period is one month.

“In some cases, resignation letters were dated the same day as the effective date of the resignation. While we cannot stop teachers from making their personal decisions to resign, we ask for observance of the law,” she said.

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