The University of Technology, Jamaica Academic Staff Union, UTASU is considering a proposal from the University’s management for payment of half of the retroactive monies owed to them. A meeting is being held Friday Morning.
The proposal on the table would see staff being paid 400 of the 800 million dollars owed to them for 2018/19.
The ministry has pledged 250 million dollars from its existing budget and the remaining 150 million will be funded by UTECH. The 250 million from the government is in addition to 1 billion dollars approved for the university in the supplementary estimates in October.
Acceptance of the offer would see hundreds of lecturers, who have been on strike for 6 full days, returning to work. The lecturers withdrew their services last Friday over non-payment of retroactive monies which were due in September.
In a release Thursday evening, Minister with responsibility for Education, Karl Samuda urged the academic staff to accept UTECH’S offer for the settlement of the outstanding retroactive payments for 2018/19.
Mr. Samuda said the proposal is the best offer that the education ministry can make at this time. He said the ministry has combed through the budget and made cuts, at enormous sacrifice to some programmes in order to find the funds. He appealed to UTECH’s academic staff to accept the proposal so classes can resume.