Union awaits government’s counter-proposal for salary increase for teachers

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By Elesha George

The Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (ABUT) is awaiting a counter-proposal from the government’s negotiating team, which it hopes will offer a reasonable settlement for salaries and working conditions of its members.

“The government has to be able to make its case as to why, or when, or if they cannot meet that demand and what is the demand that they may be able to settle on, but none of that has come forward in good faith and so we are keen to see what the counter-proposal looks like on Monday [October 14th, 2019] when they are sent across to us,” the President of the ABUT Ashworth Azille said yesterday.

The union has asked for a 15 per cent increase over a three-year period — a proposal that Azille said had been submitted two years ago. He was, however, unable to offer a percentage for a counter proposal since one has yet to be presented.

“When you give a government negotiating team a job to do and they come clearly, as if they have no mandate, it is counter-productive to the process of good negotiations and so we’ve asked them to make good on their mandate and give us some firm counter-proposals which they have committed to getting to us by Monday,” the president told OBSERVER media.

Azille said that the negotiating team’s inability to present any mandate at all, is prolonging negotiations at a disadvantage to the teachers, in what the president described as “difficult times for members” of the union.

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