The negotiating team of the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) is in the process of finalising what has been described as a sound proposal to be presented to government for salary increases, among other benefits.
This is among the many clauses which will be included in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which is up for renewal.
President of the A&BUT, Ashworth Azille said teachers have gone through three periods of a government-imposed wage freeze and an increase is long overdue.
“Over the last several years, the cost of goods and services have gone up, and in addition to that, we must also remember there has been an increase in the contributions to Social Security and Medical Benefits as well. And so those things would have compounded to make the purchasing power of the teachers’ take home pay a bit restrictive,” Azille said.
In addition to a wage increase, the union will also be negotiating for cash and non-cash benefits, taking into consideration the teachers social conditions.
The union, representing a wide cross-section of the nation’s educators, will also be agitating for other benefits and allowances to which the teachers have grown accustomed.
Azille said it is hoped that the first draft of the proposal will be completed by the end of this month for revision and ratification by the entire membership.
The union is optimistic that the document will be ready for submission by February or March of this year.