School-bus drivers and conductors should be back on the job Friday after Transport Board promises to honour 7% increase

Transport Board workers who are attached to the school-bus department of the Motor Pool should be back on the job fully on Friday, April 29, after staging protest action today, April 28.

Reportedly the staff turned up for work in their uniforms, this morning, but did not go out for duty at the usual time, leaving hundreds of students stranded across the island.

They made their way to the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board to have discussions with their representatives – the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union – and the management of the agency.

The action was taken because a salary increase that is due to them is yet to be paid, reports say.

Reportedly, in March this year, the Labour Department decided to grant the workers a 7 percent increase on their current salaries in place of the 10 percent increase for which they were hoping.

However, since that decision was made, no action has been taken by the Transport Board’s management, and this caused some consternation among the workers. 

Accordingly, they staged today’s protest action to force the authorities to deal with the matter.

At the Thursday-morning meeting, it was agreed that it would be in the best interest of all to settle the outstanding issues impacting employees.

Therefore, they will be receiving their 7 percent increase and returning to the job on Friday morning for their customary drop-offs and pick-ups.

The disgruntled workers are hoping, however, that the 10 percent increase they were seeking will be favourably considered during the next negotiating period in 2024.

REAL News learned that Transport Board supervisors and other senior staff were deployed to operate the system, Thursday morning, in an attempt to get students to school in a timely manner.