The Parliamentary Representative for Barbuda, Trevor Walker, intends to fight a decision by the government not to award council workers back pay.
Public servants on Antigua have been receiving their long awaited and much anticipated back pay for several weeks now, but Barbuda Council workers are deemed ineligible for these payments.
Walker explained that it came as a surprise to him when he was informed that the council staff do not qualify. He said as far as he knows, allocations have always been made for back pay.
“Since the inception of the Barbuda Council in 1979, we have always budgeted for that. There has always been an estimate for that,” he lamented.
The Barbuda MP said the Council wrote to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, but was told later that council staff did not qualify for the back pay.
“We went to Antigua and visited the Treasury and they told us we need to write to the finance minister. We came back to Barbuda and wrote to him and we hand delivered that letter to him,” Walker claimed
He explained further that after the letter was delivered, there was no word from the Finance Minister, Gaston Browne.
“We called again because this is an important issue and we were basically told we are not qualified for back pay,” he said.
Walker says he intends to fight the decision. “I’m not saying this to be antagonistic, but when you hear stuff like that, you have to be concerned. We are wrestling with that issue,” he said.
The Barbuda MP said he is awaiting a formal letter from the government about their decision not to address the pack pay before the next step is decided.
Our news desk found out that workers paid through the Consolidated Fund like nurses and teachers are eligible for back pay.
However, contracted staff do not qualify for the retroactive remuneration.