In a surprise move, the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) has accepted the Government's offer to pay retroactive salaries to its members this month. This comes less than week after the teachers took industrial action.
The JTA had said the payment would be unprecedented in light of the fact that salary negotiations have not been concluded or a Heads of Agreement signed.
JTA Secretary-General Byron Farquharson explained that the Ministry of Finance, having heard of the rejection of the offer, wrote to the JTA requesting that it be treated as an advance of payment.
The teachers will be paid the retroactive amounts next week. The five per cent increase will cover the first year of the proposed four-year deal.
Public sector nurses could also receive retroactive salaries this month. This follows deliberations between the Nurses Association of Jamaica and the Finance Ministry Monday and Tuesday.
NAJ President Carmen Johnson said it is hoped that the payments can be made by the end of March, based on the agreement reached between the parties.