Dr. Peter Phillips
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips, is expressing solidarity with the island's teachers as they press the government for better wages.
Dr. Phillips says the teachers should be properly paid. He argued that the government's breach of collective bargaining principles is "unprecedented".
"These collective bargaining principles have been in place for decades, respected by every previous government of Jamaica; and in fact, by discarding the procedures, the government is in effect saying to the teachers, 'take it or leave it'. It is wrong and they shouldn't behave in that fashion," Dr. Phillips chided.
Dr. Phillips also contended that there is no need for a tax package in order to give the island's teachers a meaningful salary adjustment.
He believes it is a matter of what the government holds as priority.
"The government has to decide how much it wants to spend on bushing, how much it wants to spend on cars for ministers and prime ministers; the government must decide whether it is necessary to give a tax break to the big multi-national companies through the bauxite levy or whether our teachers deserve to be paid," he suggested.
He said it is not fair for teachers to "have to bear the burden of the sacrifice any longer."