Back pay talks continue

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The Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA) will be meeting with public servants this morning for feedback on to how to proceed with the ongoing talks with the government’s negotiating team over outstanding back pay.
The union had earlier rejected government’s offer of a month’s tax-free salary that would erase all commitments of back pay. The union had indicated that it was inadequate for its members.
In fact, the union that represents public sector workers made it known that they are seeking three months of back pay. The union had indicated half of which they are expecting by Labour Day next month.
Government officials are yet to say whether they would be able to meet the latest demand from public servants.
Last week, Information Minister, Melford Nicholas said this counter offer would put the government under significant strain if it were to meet the workers’ demands by Labour Day, the first Monday in May.
In a brief interview with our newsroom yesterday, Joan Peters, president of the ABPSA, said that the association will meet to discuss the matter thoroughly to arrive at a clear mandate.
She said that they would take into consideration recent developments surrounding the matter, and also a recent proposal by Prime Minister Gaston Browne for two months’ salary.
Asked whether the association would be accepting the latest offer which was made late last week, Peters said she did not wish to reveal any more information about the process before meeting with her members. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the Nurses Association building on Queen Elizabeth Highway.

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