The government has called on the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (ABUT) to withdraw their threat of continued industrial action. Schools have not yet opened in Antigua and Barbuda since the Easter break.
And now teachers say they are fed up with the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards addressing their concerns of security, better working conditions, and remuneration among other issues.
But Education Minister Daryll Matthew is hoping that the ABUT would withdraw its threat of industrial action for next Monday’s resumption of classes in public schools.
He told State Media that the “Government has done all it can do at this point to address the teachers’ concerns, while the remaining issues continue to be given attention”
He said “ex-gratia payments to all 34 eligible teachers have either been made, or the teachers have indicated they will collect their cheques next Monday”
He also outlines major progress on upgrades for eligible teachers, and the completion of lighting at the 14 priority schools identified by the A&BUT, while 159 cheques for retroactive payments are available for collection at the Ministry.
It is unfair that the Ministry of Education paid the teachers who graduated in 2019, 2020 and 2021 their retroactive pay before those teachers who graduated in 2018. How do you think the 2018 teachers feel about that Mr. Minister?