Gov't expecting favourable response from JTA regarding latest wage offer

Rudyard Spencer and Audley Shaw
The Ministry of Finance is expecting a favourable response from the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) to its improved wage offer.
The JTA's General Council is to meet on Monday to make a decision. 
The Ministry submitted the offer on Friday.
Speaking at an Area Three Council meeting in Bellefield, Manchester on Sunday, Rudyard Spencer, State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, said he expects a good outcome following discussions with the teachers on Friday. 
"One of things that we said to the teachers and said to everybody: Because we have committed in the first year an amount, we would like to give you that because if you don't get it by the end of March, you won't get any increase until 2020. Well, the teachers left the meeting and I must tell you I am not sure they were unhappy... so we're expecting something good to come from them," he asserted. 
Public sector teachers went on three days sick-out last week.
The JTA said the Government's plan to pay them five per cent retroactive salaries at the end of this month while negotiations were ongoing and the refusal to increase an allowance were at the heart of the industrial action.
Finance Minister Audley Shaw, who also spoke at the council meeting in Bellefield, said the focus at the negotiating table should not be solely on increasing salaries but also on improving productivity. 
"This can't be about salaries everytime we talk, but it has to be about productivity, improving the productivity of every public sector worker because productivity is part of what is going to drive the economy to perform more; productivity is what is going to help us to achieve wealth in the economy; productivity is what is going to allow us to move from poverty to prosperity," he purported. 

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