In a significant development at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja), the academic staff have initiated an industrial action, citing longstanding concerns over wage dispute with the Government of Jamaica (GOJ).

On Saturday December 30, 2023, UTech students were informed that there will be a delay in receiving grades ahead of the upcoming academic semester slated to commence on January 10th, 2024. The decision was made to put a hold on the issuing of grades as they push the government to resolve salary issues.

University of Technology, Jamaica at Old Hope Road in Kingston on January 2, 2024.

This action has led to the suspension of regular academic activities across the institution. Students caught in the crossfire have expressed their concerns over the impact on their progression while most simultaneously stand in solidarity with the lecturers.

“I believe the GOJ can do much better to compensate the lecturers”, one student shared.

“The GOJ does not treat UTech on the same level as how they treat UWI,” another student shared.

“Though I am affected by the industrial action, I am able to fully understand the other hand. The staff should be paid a wage that can sustain their livelihood (transport, rent, groceries, leisure, etc). If their wage cannot sustain these items because they are severely underpaid, I can agree with their action, if it’s the only means of making a change.”

Some students are annoyed by the industrial action, expressing that they are at a disadvantage and has seen some form of strike almost every year of their university life.

“As far as I’m concerned this has always been an issue and it’s very annoying. Because we as students are already faced at a disadvantage by lectures etc over the entire academic year where some hardly do any teaching especially tutors.”

As the institution remains in a state of tension, the broader community awaits further developments in the hope that a fair and amicable agreement can be reached to end the industrial action and restore normalcy to the academic environment.

As the reopen date for the academic semester approaches, students doubt that there will be a resolution by January 5, 2024 when it comes time for module selection. Students are anticipating a hectic semester because of past experience with faculty members going on strike or taking industrial action.


Reported by Ardrene Edwards

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