The Minister and Ministry of Education were hoping for an amicable resolution to the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers’ threat of industrial action on October 4 – if public schools were not outfitted with 24-hour security by today, October 3.
In a September 30 letter to Director of Education Clare Browne, Union President Casroy Charles said the Government had failed to honour its September 15 written and verbal agreements to have all schools equipped with round-the-clock security.
Earlier on Monday, Minister Daryl Matthew said he was hoping that an afternoon meeting with the Teachers’ Union would be fruitful. Speaking on State television, Matthew said he had written to Charles, requesting a 1 p.m. meeting to iron out grievances.
Matthew was optimistic that cool heads would prevail, and that the Union would come to the table seeking a mutually beneficial outcome to the issue.
The Union has revealed that, as of September 28, over 90 percent of the government schools identified for 24-hour security had not yet received this service. Checks on September 29 showed that one school had not received any security at all since the new school year began.
Up to press time, the meeting reportedly was still in session, with no hint of the outcome.