Public servants to receive back pay by Referendum Day

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After almost a-year-and-half of back and forth negotiations the government has confirmed that public servants will likely be receiving their outstanding back pay by next Tuesday, November 6 – the day the electorate will be engaged in a referendum to determine whether the country retains the Privy Council as its final court, or accepts this role to be performed by the the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The information comes weeks after Prime Minister Gaston Browne explained to the media that public servants would likely be paid in December as the government was experiencing shortfalls in revenue.
According to the weekly Cabinet notes prepared by Chief of Staff Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, the minister of finance succeeded in negotiating a $5 million loan for the purpose of paying one month’s back pay to civil servants only. Details about the origin of the loan and pay back terms were not released.
The Cabinet said that established workers will be paid next Tuesday, adding that further announcements on the amounts and the days on which other government workers will be paid, are to be made in due course.
Government workers, through their union, the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA), have been lobbying for some time to get to this stage. ABPSA President Joanne Peters told OBSERVER media yesterday that she would prefer to wait and see what happens next week before addressing the matter publicly.

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