A glitch in the Ministry of Education and Youth’s payment system, caused by human error, led to teachers in Region 7 – encompassing the parish of Clarendon —not receiving their monthly salaries on the October 25 due date.
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), in a release on Thursday, said it was “highly unacceptable” that several categories of teachers had not yet received their monthly salaries, more than two days after the payments were due.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education Maureen Dwyer told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday that the ministry became aware of the error Thursday morning and immediately did checks and discovered that the payroll file was inadvertently uploaded under the wrong category.
“So it [payroll file] was uploaded under the category ‘fortnightly’ when it actually should’ve been uploaded under the ‘monthly’ payment…We contacted the Accountant General’s Department [AGD] and they said to us that we were not seeing the file where it ought to have been. They did their investigation and they located the file and it was routed properly to the monthly payments. So we were able to correct that by 10:30 this morning [Thursday] and then the AGD was able to say to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) that the payments could be made,” she explained.
She said that the AGD, having requested that the BOJ expedite the payment process, confirmed that payments would begin to be reflected in some accounts from before 8:00 pm on Thursday and that all payments should be made by Friday afternoon.
“Teachers who are paid via National Commercial Bank (NCB) would see their [salary] reflected first and then, for the others who get paid from their accounts at building societies and credit unions, it would take a little longer time because it’s going to be a transfer from the bank,” she said.
The JTA had also said in its release that neither the association nor the board of management of any institution had received any communication from the ministry to inform of the delay.
But Dwyer said she had since spoken to the union’s general secretary as well as the president.
“Ive had conversations with them and I have sent them the correspondence we got from the accountant general. We just wanted to make it very transparent so they understand what exactly took place,” she said.