Letters to the Editor

Teachers being irresponsible and ungrateful!

Monday, March 12, 2018

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Dear Editor,

The teachers, the fifth column in this country and puppets of the People's National Party (PNP), are at again. There is poised to be more irresponsible disruption to the school system because they want to derail yet another Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Administration as they did in the last one.

One can't help but see the irony in the way the teachers are behaving now versus when the PNP told them to take a wage freeze. They all never complained while Peter Phillips levelled over $30 billion worth of taxes on them and inflation run amok. Contrast that with the $1.5-million 'tax break', 16 per cent wage increase offer, plus performance increments (which some of them don't deserve anyways), inflation at record low, a no-tax package budget delivered by the finance minister — and these privileged people are threatening a strike?

That's irresponsible and ungrateful. Teachers have always acted as though they are more important than all other public sector workers. That sort of high-minded, privileged attitude only surfaces when a JLP Government is in place. These people are an obstacle to the progress of this country and somebody needs to call them out on it.

They must not be allowed to hold this country at ransom. Jamaica is the only country that allows a whole week or more holiday for students and teachers because of a two-day national holiday, coupled with the long summer holidays; Jamaican teachers get the most paid holidays anywhere. Add to that the teacher who takes a day off to go to a church fast.

Teachers can do just about anything and still have a job. That doesn't happen in the private sector. And yet they still are behaving like a bunch of bratty kids.

The education ministry should sanction any teacher involved in any strike action. If they don't work they shouldn't be paid. And the ministry must move with haste to ban teachers from holding evening or summer classes in schools and use the utilities for free. If they want to do so, let them pay.

The head of the Jamaica Teachers' Association should be ashamed of the way they've handled the negotiations. It is full time teachers understand it is not they alone who have to sacrifice for this country.

Stop being a fifth column trying to derail the progress of this country for narrow political gains.

Fabian Lewis





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