Monday, January 4, 2010

Invitation for Papers

All educators, teachers, members of the JTA are invited to submit anypaper you would love to have published. Any event which will occur oris taking place at your institution, any educational event being puton in your community, your opinions, poetry or art form which couldbe published by us. If you know of any outstanding educator whichcould also be featured or, if such persons are involved in any youthdevelopment or assistance programmes, these we would love to hearabout too.All such papers or content for the paper should be sent electronicallyto or no later than March 15, 2010.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


November 25, 2009 was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and December 1 will be World AIDS Day. EI, in a statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, makes the point that violence against women is a matter of inequality between women and men. It further states that teachers’ unions have a key role to play in combating gender-based violent attitudes and the promotion of a commitment to human rights and equality between men and women.

World AIDS Day is focused on raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic. The Day was first declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988.

The JTA is part of the EFAIDS programme initiated by Education International to build awareness among teachers and union leaders of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the achievement of the Education for All Goals by 2015.

As an Association and leaders, we need to understand the relevance of the two activities to our work. We therefore need to support the efforts of the Women’s Caucus to eliminate gender-based violence and the Study Circle Committee in building awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS.

A special welcome to this the second meeting of General Council for the Conference Year. I am always encouraged by the attendance at these meetings. My hope, however, is that Councillors will not keep the information presented at the meeting to themselves but find opportunities to share the information with other colleagues within your schools, districts and parishes. Please note that sharing information does not decrease the information, it only clarifies it.

2.1 Protective Clothing Allowance for all Teachers in Schools with Grades 1 – 6
The Principal Financial Officer at the Ministry of Education informed the Association that the relevant data had been collected from the Regions and the costing sent to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service on November 20, 2009. She was unable to say definitively if the payments would be made in December 2009. We, however, hope that it will happen.

2.2 Special Teachers’ Allowance for Trained graduates who are Travelling Officers and do not Operate a Motor Vehicle
There is an agreement that these teachers will be paid a Special Teachers’ Allowance of $167,477.00 with effect from April 1, 2008. The Principal Financial Officer has also informed the JTA that the costing for this item has also been sent to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service. The Association expects that payment will be made in December 2009.

2.3 Vice Principals not to be Included in the Quota for Post of Special Responsibility
Although there is an agreement between the JTA and Government on the item, there is as yet no clear instruction from the Ministry of Education to schools to put the policy into effect. Members of Council at the meeting in September were instructed to proceed in making the recommendation(s) to the Ministry of Education for such appointment(s) to be made. Members should indicate if any action has been taken in this regard.

2.4 Housing Allowance for Master Teacher I
The Association had a meeting with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service on the matter at which the case for the payment to these teachers was forcefully made. We are awaiting a response from the Ministry.

2.5 Adjustments to Salaries and Benefits at April 1, 2009
Member will recall that this matter was being handled by the Monitoring Committee of the JCTU. At a meeting with the Prime Minister in October 2009 the JCTU presented proposals on how the contractual agreement can be satisfactorily dealt with. The Association is not aware of a decision being taken.

2.6 Payment of Retroactive Salaries for 2007 – 2008
An agreement for payment was signed between the JTA and the Ministry of Finance at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on September 29, 2009. The schedule for payment is as out below.

(i) Year one (2010 – 2011) - $4B payable in two equal installments in May and July 2010.

(ii) Year two (2011 – 2012) - $2.5B payable in June 2011

(iii) Year three (2012 – 2013) - $1.5B payable in April 2012

2.7 Guidance Counsellor who Hold Posts of Special Responsibility
It has been brought to the attention of the JTA that the Ministry of Education is removing the Post of Special Responsibility from teachers who held that position and are appointed as Guidance Counsellors. The Ministry has also initiated recovery of payments made to such teachers. The issue was raised at the last meeting with the Minister and a letter on the matter subsequently sent to the Permanent Secretary. Attached to the letter was a circular from the Ministry of Education dated November 17, 1984 which stated that Guidance Counsellors should be considered for appointment to Post of Special Responsibility.

2.8 Preparation of Claim for Salaries and Benefits for 2010 – 2012 Contract Period
A draft claim has been laid on the Table at this meeting for consideration. The claim is expected to be presented on or before December 31, 2009.

The Ministry of Finance has not made the allocation to Capital and Credit Merchant Bank.

At the last meeting with the Minister, the Principal Financial Officer reported that Capital and Credit Merchant Bank had informed her that all the funds including payback by borrowers and its own allocation of $100M had been used up. She has since informed the JTA that it is likely that the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service will make an allocation of $45M to the programme in December 2009.

The Permanent Secretary had informed the JTA by letter dated September 8, 2009 that the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service had agreed to provide the programme $85M over the period October to December 2009. Teachers should therefore be receiving the refund.

The seminars were held in all parishes. A total of 566 teachers participated.

The Contact Teacher Institute was held October 8 and 9, 2009 at the Palladium Hotels and Resorts, Hanover. There were over 200 Contact Teachers from the parishes of Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland in attendance. From the reports, it was evident that the teachers benefitted from the activity. It is expected that this will be reflected in how they carry-out their roles in the schools.

The regular seminars ended on November 24, 2009. The attendance at the seminars is as set out below.

St. Andrew
St. Thomas
St. Mary
St. Ann
St. Elizabeth
St. Catherine

The workshop was held October 28 – 30, 2009 at the Rose Hall Hotel, Montego Bay. There were 24 participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. The facilitators were Virginia Albert-Poyotte (EI Regional Co-ordinator) and Scott Pulizzi, Consultant to the programme. In attendance were also Jan Eastman, Deputy General Secretary at the EI Secretariat in Brussels and Jefferson Pessi also from the EI Secretariat.

The ceremony was held on November 5, 2009 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel. Mrs. Judith Spencer-Jarrett, Secretary Professional Services, was the 2009 recipient of the Award. The guest speaker was Professor the Honourable Errol Morrison, President of the University of Technology.

The Association extends congratulations to Mrs. Spencer-Jarrett on the high honour given her by her colleagues.

The conference was hosted by the JTA’s Women’s Caucus on October 31, 2009 at the JTA Ben Hawthorne Conference Room. The keynote speaker was Mrs. Virginia Albert Poyotte, EI Regional Co-ordinator. In addition to the session which dealt with issues relevant to women, a number of persons who contributed over the years to the Women’s Caucus were honoured.

The Association commends the officer and her team for organizing a successful event.

The workshop was held November 11 – 14, 2009 at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa under the theme, Planning for Renewal, Sustainability and Success. It was hosted by the JTA in collaboration with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and Lärarförbundet (Swedish Teachers’ Union). There were 75 participants drawn from the four JTA Regions. The participants were in the age group 25 – 45 years. There is general agreement that the workshop was an activity of which the JTA can be very proud. There were local and overseas facilitators. The participants completed a quiz at the end of the workshop. The list of successful participants has been posted.

The Association records its sincere gratitude to CTF and Lärarförbundet for being the major sponsors of the event.

The scheduled meetings are being held. The following parishes have had meetings: Kingston, Westmoreland, St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann, Trelawny, Hanover, St. Elizabeth and Manchester.

The Ministry of Education has established a Modernisation Committee under the Education Transformation Programme. The specific objectives and purpose of the Modernisation Committee are set out below.

Background: The primary objective of the Modernisation Programme of the Ministry of Education is to devolve service delivery and operational/policy implementation responsibilities to regional and national education agencies, in order to be more responsive to local education priorities and needs. As such, the specific objectives of the Ministry’s Modernisation Programme are:
* To establish the Ministry of Education as a policy-focused Ministry retaining only key management functions at the centre;
* To establish the Regional Education Agencies;
* To establish the National Education Inspectorate;
* To establish the Curriculum and Assessment Agency;
* To establish the Jamaica Teaching Council;
* To establish the National Education Trust.

Purpose of the MoE Modernisation Steering Committee: The purpose of the MoE Modernisation Steering Committee is to act as the final decision-making body as it relates to the implementation of the Modernisation Programme.

The first meeting of the committee was held on October 21, 2009. The JTA was represented by the Secretary General. A copy of the status report on the Education Transformation Programme has been circulated.

The 2010 Education Conference will be held April 7 – 9, 2010. The Planning Committee has held two meetings. Information about the conference should be in the schools by January 2010. The focus of the conference will be on Effective Middle Management in Schools. Participants will therefore include, Vice-principals, Heads of Department, and teachers with Posts of Special Responsibility.

The venue will be the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa.

The schedule for the closure of the JTA offices for the holiday season is as outlined below.

(i) December 22 – 25, 2009
(ii) December 28 – 30, 2009

15.1 CUT Executive Meeting
The first regular meeting of the Executive for the 2009 – 2011 biennium will be held December 4 and 5, 2009 in Nassau Bahamas. It will be hosted by the Bahamas Union of Teachers.

The JTA will be represented by the President.

15.2 North America Caribbean Conference
The conference will be held February 24 and 25, 2010 at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. It will be held under the theme, Educators Working Together for Quality Education in a Time of Economic Challenge. The main speaker is likely to be Mr. Richard Rothstein, Education Specialist at the New York Times. The Planning Committee for the conference met on November 9, 2009 at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort. In attendance were:
· Reg Weaver, Vice President, EI
· Emily Noble (Ms.), Past President, CTF
· Roustan Job, President CUT
· Barbara MacDonald-Moore (Mrs.), Director, International Programme, CTF
· David Edwards, International Relations Officer, NEA
· Virginia Albert-Poyotte, EI Regional Co-ordinator
· Adolph Cameron, General Secretary, CUT
· Judith Spence-Jarrett, Deputy General Secretary, CUT

15.3 Workshop for Public Relations Officers
The CUT will host a workshop for Public Relations Officers or persons with responsibility for Public Relations and Communication in the CUT units. The workshop will be hosted in association with the National Education association (USA) on February 23, 2010 at the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The Officers and staff extend Christmas greetings and best wishes to all members of General Council. We hope that you and your families will have a season filled with peace and happiness despite the challenging economic times.

If you think you are beaten, you are.If you think you dare not, you don’tIf you like to win but think you can’t,It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.For out in the world we find Success begins with a fellow’s willIt’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.You’ve got to think high to rise.You’ve got to be sure of yourself beforeYou can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go To the stronger or faster man.But sooner or later, the man who winsIs the man who thinks he can.

Author - C.W. Longenecker

Prepared by: Adolph Cameron
Secretary General

Sunday, November 15, 2009


The Jamaica Teachers' Association in association with the Canadian Teachers' Federation and Lararforbundet (Swedish Teachers' Union) has taken the initiative to develop a second tier cadre of leaders to ensure sustainability. This year from November 11 to 14, approximately seventy (70) members from all across the island will converge on Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa Ocho Rios, St. Ann to participate in a workshop under the theme: Planning for Organizational Renewal, Sustainability and Success.

The workshop programme is as follows:


  • Opening Ceremony

  • Trade Union Movement in Jamaica - Historical Perspective. Lloyd Goodleigh, President, Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU)

  • Teachers' Unions in a Changing Global Context. Barbara MacDonold-Moore, Director of International Programs, and Emily Noble, Past President, Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) and Past President, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

  • Leadreship in Teachers' Unions. Barbara MacDonold-Moore, Director of International Programs, and Emily Noble, Past President, Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) and Past President, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

  • Teachers' Unions in the Caribbean; Issues and Challenges. Colin Greene, Past President Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) and President Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers. Former Executive Board Member of Education International.


  • JTA Within the Jamaican Trade Union Movement. Patrick Smith, Senior Secretary Member Services Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA).
  • Public Speaking. Viris Clarke-Ellis, Senior Education Officer Ministry of Education Jamaica.
  • Organizational Structure and Functions of the Jamaica Teachers' Association. Dorothy Raymond, Senior Secretary Administration and Finance Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA).
  • Legal Underpinnings of the Jamaica Education System. Chenee Riley, Former Legal Advisor to the Teachers Services Commission.
  • Changing the Conversation in Organizations to Achieve Success. Beverly Anderson-Manley, Political Scientist, Policy Analist, Gender Specialist and Host of the "Breakfast Club" on Jamaican Radio.


  • Leadership Styles. Sonia Jones, Lecturer School of Education, University of The West Indies (UWI)
  • How to Chair Meetings - Rules of Order. Colin Greene
  • Code of Ethics for the Teaching Profession. Dorothy Raymond
  • Recruitment and Retention of Members. Patrick Smith


  • Financial Management in Teachers' Unions. Sherlock Allen, Chairman Finance Cimmittee, Jamaica Teachers' Association.
  • QUIZ.
  • Closing Ceremony.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Whats up these days.

Retroactive Salaries:

The offer accepted by the General Council of the Jamaica Teachers' Association in respect of payments due for the year 2007 to 2008 will be paid as follows;

  1. $ 4b payable in equal tranches in May and July 2010
  2. $ 2.5b payable in June 2011
  3. $ 1.5b payable in April 2012

Protective Clothing:

Ministry of finance and the Public Service has informed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education that the allowance is payable to teachers in all schools which carry grades 1 - 6. The Permanent has informed the JTA that the Regional Offices are submitting the relevant information to effect payment by October 2009.

Vice Principals not to be counted in Ratio for POSR

Permanent Secretary has informed the JTA that the Regional Officers will adjust the ratio and inform schools accordingly.

World Teachers' Day

Theme: Build the Future: Invest in teachers now.

Date: October 5, 2009

CUT's Students' Athletics Chanpionship

The championships will be held July 23 and 24, 2010 in St. Kitts.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cross Primary & Junior High Appreciation Ceremony

The Cross Primary and Junior High School on Wednesday May 13, 2009 expressed appreciation to four stalwarts that retired from their ranks.
From left Miss Lenore Henriques, Miss Beverly McDonold, Mrs. Icilda Dobson-Powell and Mr. Clayton Hall making the presentation on behalf of the JTA. Mrs. Sadie Newman was absent due to a family emergency.
The program was chaired by Mr Morgan Vice Principal of the school and the Guest Speaker was Mrs. Esther Tyson, Principal of Ardenne High School. The inclement weather did not put a damper on the proceedings, neither did the absence of electricity reduce the spark as friends, students, colleagues and the public at large turned out to thank these ladies whose combined contribution to education in Jamaica totalled in excess of one hundred and fifty years.
May they live as long as they want and never want as long as they live.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Education Week Activities


Saturday May2, 2009.
  • Education Week Church Service.

Monday May4, 2009.

  • Education Symposium: JTA Conference Room, 97 Church St. Kingston 3pm.

Tuesday May5, 2009.

  • Read Across Jamaica Day.

Wednesday May6, 2009.

  • Teachers Day 2009.

Thursday May 7, 2009.

  • Helen Stills Development Day: SURVIVING A GLOBAL RECESSION, Jamaica Grande Ochi Rios Cost: $5500.00 Call the JTA at 922-1385-7 to make reservations.