KINGSTON, Jamaica – On February 20th, 2019 the 3 staff unions (Academic, Administrative and Technical and the Students’ Unions) of the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Jamaica) united to protest the under- funding of UTech, Jamaica by the Government of Jamaica.
Cheryll Messam, a member of staff was a part of that protest and after some time perceived that their wait for resolution would continue indefinitely.
Thinking that more waiting would be harmful to the morale of colleagues and her students, Ms. Messam decided that positive action should be taken beyond the protest.
Consequently, on Ash Wednesday, March 6th, 2019, as a private citizen and not speaking on behalf of UTech, Jamaica, Messam responded to the Government’s invitation noted on the Jamaica House Petition Website
“Petition the Office of the Prime Minister on the Issues that Matter to You” with the guidelines
“Get 15,000 Signatures.
If you gather 15,000 signatures in 40 days, we’ll review your petition, and if it complies with agreed standards, the Office of the Prime Minister will issue an official response.” Click here to view the petition process.
Messam submitted a petition—“Government of Jamaica Increase the Subvention to the University of Technology, Jamaica Commensurate with Need”, for their review.
After some days, Cheryll received no indication of whether the petition would be accepted or published.
Consequently, she then submitted the petition to the international Change.org petition website on Saturday 9th March, 2019.
Messam continued to be guided by the Government’s petition requirements and set the goal of 15,000 signatures within 40 days.
CHANGE.ORG PETITION Received 15,000 Signatures in 26 Days!
As of Thursday 4th April, 2019, 26 days later, over 15, 000 People of Jamaica and friends of Jamaica based internationally, and with goodwill towards the University of Technology, Jamaica, have responded in support of the petition — “Government of Jamaica Increase the Subvention to the University of Technology, Jamaica Commensurate with Need”.
According to Messam, “We have submitted the petition data i.e. petition cover letter, petition signatures and petition comments to Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Minster Karl Samuda, Minister of Education, Youth and Information and Dr. Grace McLean, Actg. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information”. “We ask that our Government bring this matter to timely resolution, and advise the management of the University of Technology, Jamaica and the nation of the same”.