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JTA tight-lipped on St Mary school’s ‘issues’ ahead of Gov’t meeting | Loop Jamaica

The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) is to meet with officials of the Ministry of Education on Wednesday to solve several “issues and grievances” affecting educators at the Marymount High School in St Mary.

The teachers were reportedly disgruntled on Monday over issues regarding “salary deductions”, one source told Loop News.

There was also reportedly “some form of protest action” by the educators, which led to a disruption of classes, but that was short-lived, said the source.

When contacted by Loop News on Tuesday, JTA President Winston Smith said: “We are aware of what is happening there (at Marymount High School).”

Pressed as to what were the issues impacting teachers at the all-girls school, Smith said he would not divulge details.

“I would like to have discussions with the Ministry [of Education] before I go public with some things. I would not necessarily want the ministry to hear the grouse in the media, knowing we have a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday),” he said.

He, however, confirmed that he was at the school with the JTA regional officer on Monday, and had talked with the staff.

“We met with the staff, and we had a very productive discussion. They have provided me with data that will facilitate discourse between the JTA and the Ministry of Education in an attempt to bring their issues and grievance to focus, with a view to solve the problem that they’re having,” Smith explained.

He added: “I have asked of them to allow the JTA to intervene, and they have promised to give us some time.

“There is a meeting scheduled with the Ministry of Education tomorrow (Wednesday). The information that I get from them (the teachers) will be brought to the discussion table tomorrow,” Smith indicated.

According to the JTA head, he has assured the teachers that as soon as the meeting is concluded he will forward to them a response from the Education Ministry.

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“After that meeting, we will now take a course of action based on what transpires at that meeting.

“We are very much aware of it (the issues), and we are treating the matter in the best way we can to ensure that we follow the legal framework as to how we treat with such matters,” Smith told Loop News.

But, according to one source, she is still “uneasy”, but is awaiting the outcome of the meeting on the issues surrounding salary deductions.

Asked to elaborate on the issues, the individual declined further comment.

Efforts to contact officials at the St Mary institution proved futile, as numbers for the school rang without answer.