A small majority of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association, JTA, members who attended a Special General Council meeting today voted to reject the government’s latest salary and fringe benefits offer.
It’s understood 48 voted to reject it while 40 voted to accept.
Nationwide News understands, JTA President, Georgia Waugh Richards, was among those who voted to accept the latest offer made by the government last Friday.
In a recorded message sent to the media this afternoon, Mrs. Waugh Richards, says the JTA will formally communicate the results of the vote to the Finance Ministry.
When Nationwide News contacted Mrs. Waugh Richards, she explained that it was the entire offer that was rejected by the majority of the teachers’ union’s members.
It’s understood the government offered teachers a $20,000 increase in their Book and ICT allowance.
The JTA had been demanding an increase of $60,000 a year in that allowance, which currently stands at $177,000 annually.
Nationwide News also understands that many of the teachers who voted to reject this particular increase preferred the matter be brought before the Industrial Disputes Tribunal rather than accept the offer.
In the meantime, the JTA President says the letter to the Finance Ministry will also highlight that the Association is still open to further negotiations.
However, the consequence of the majority vote means retroactive money will not be paid to the teachers until 2019.
Millions in retroactive payments were expected to be paid to the teachers this month.
The JTA’s Special General Council met at about 10:00 this morning.
Members of the Council from across the island gathered at the JTA’s Head Office on Church Street in Kingston to consider the offer.