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Jamaica: Teachers aim for 55% pay increase

The Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) is seeking a 55 per cent increase over the 2006-2008 contract period after a two year wage freeze under the Public Sector Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The MoU was signed in February 2004 between the Government and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), to save the budget and jobs of public sector workers through a two-year wage restraint. Now EI affiliate the JTA, representing 20,000 members, is seeking a range of improvements to conditions of service. President of the JCTU, Senator Dwight Nelson states that nothing less than a 30 per cent increase will be acceptable in order to restore the purchasing power. While acknowledging that the negotiations might prove challenging, JTA President Ruel Reid says he expects the negotiations to be completed by the end of March.