A worker purporting to be employed by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) is calling for a pay increase for staff and expressing concern about their treatment by management.
In an open letter, the employee claims to have been with the Authority for 10 years.
The person says that management and, by extension, the Government can do better by treating the staff better; paying better wages and salaries; and stopping the overwork and underpayment of those employed at the Authority.
According to the worker, APUA has good employees who go above and beyond to get their jobs done with whatever resources are available to them. But in spite of this, the writer complains, there is no mention, to date, of salaries or wages being increased to meet the spiking cost of living.
In the widely circulated letter, the worker says, “Everything has gone sky high; some of us can no longer survive on our income.”
Particular reference was made to the cashiers, who reportedly have to stare at a computer screen all day, and sometimes leave work only at night. Also listed as needed a raise were the meter-reading staff, the cleaners, and the customer-service representative.
Therefore, the purported worker is asking the Prime Minister; the Minister responsible for APUA, Sir Robin Yearwood; and other top APUA officials when the staff will be able to get an increase in wages and salaries.
On the matter of the national minimum wage, which is now under consideration, the writer offers some advice: “Raise [the] minimum wage to a percentage that workers can be able to survive … [since] when workers are paid well they work well.”
According to other media reports, however, APUA says it is unaware of its employees being dissatisfied with their remuneration or the work environment.
However, some APUA employees tell REAL News they are concerned about the abuse they are receiving from residents who are fed up with the water situation and, of late, with the frequent suppression of electricity.