Sources say that government-school teachers across the country are gearing up for industrial action next week.
Reports say the membership of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) met on Thursday evening, February 9, to discuss a number of issues that continue to plague and frustrate teachers, including the recent upsurge in school violence; the state of teaching; and the environments in which educators work.
According to a leaked document, a vote was taken on whether to initiate industrial action beginning next Monday, February 13, in the form of a sit-in.
The document claims that this action will continue until the Government, through the Ministry of Education, or their representatives, engage the Union’s Executive to develop a plan and timeline for addressing the troubling issues.
Security and the quality of that security top the Union’s agenda. Other items on the teachers’ complaint list include negotiations for the 2018-2020 collective bargaining agreement; the election promise of long-outstanding teacher upgrades; and their HOD honorarium.
Reportedly, the teachers will return to work once the Executive has been engaged, and the membership has agreed to give their employer 21 days to address the issues – either by having them rectified within that time or proposing a plan and timeline for doing so.
According to a source, if the Government fails to meet these demands satisfactorily at the end of the 21 days industrial action will recommence.