Antigua: Public school teachers continue industrial action


LOOP: Teachers across government schools in Antigua and Barbuda are continuing to fight for what they say are issues of national importance; their working conditions.

Students had to be sent home today, after two weeks’ vacation, due to a sit-in being staged by their teachers.

Tensions between the government and the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) remain high over the apparent lack of effort by the Ministry to address issues constantly voiced by the nation’s educators, including long-overdue reclassifications, inadequate security at schools and similar working conditions.

A threat of industrial action by the teachers forced the Ministry to postpone the reopening of schools following the Easter holidays, and instead extend the break by an additional week.

The Ministry of Education, since said that it addressed 90 per cent of the teachers’ demands but the disgruntled educators are far from satisfied.

The Ministry said that several ex-gratia and retroactive payments were made and that 336 teachers who were eligible for upgrades received their upgrade instrument except for 25 teachers who remain un-upgraded due to clerical issues being addressed by the Ministry.

In addition, they said that all 14 schools identified as priority schools by the ABUT are now well lit and that cameras have already been installed at a number of schools.

The government therefore, urged teachers to return to classrooms today “in the spirit of goodwill, and in the best interest of the children of this country.”

Despite this, the educators decided to continue their industrial action.

“The executive and members of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers stands resolute in its decision to hold the light. We will not relent until our demands are met,” the Union’s General Secretary Sharon Kelsick asserted.

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  1. Give teachers and nurces what they deserve, a lot of u politicians are a bunch of lazy idiots that do nothing and get big salaries that u do not deserve, don’t have to pay utilities and live free off the backs of tax payers and want to treat public servants any old how ,and that is not rite .

  2. So, the minister reports that while the ABUT said that there were thirty-four teachers that did not get their upgrade and did not get their payment, it now seems to be just four. Is the ABTU going to refute that and are they now going to take responsibility for putting the incorrect information in the public domain? Or is it a case where they cannot show they are big enough to accept fault, and it is case of being wrong and strong, because it was a politically motivated move after all. As I said before, they are not negotiating in good faith. But they are not going to get the minister to be unprofessional and confront them on a personal level. The election is over and if they want to play politics they should not hide behind the union and their members. Just come out in the political arena and take your shots. See if you can manage being in the game of politics.

    • You all are some so kind of people in this country. Us not everyone that love abuse. U is the one with political motivation for writing this. You all don’t have any feelings for people. No damn humanity.

    • No one can take the word of any sindicate member, you are just too dishonest. You would do very well in a place like Romania m; then again, maybe not. When I see Lie No Hell strapped in that cocoon of old worthless rusted metal, pitifully claiming that he cannot afford to purchase a vehicle, I realize how very serious these people are about lying. He has no pride, decency or truth in him.

  3. Prime minister Gaston clown asked what’s wrong if his son make a little 30 or $40,000 per month, how long does a teacher or a nurse have to work to make that kind of money? Wicked ablp government

  4. All me gots to say is when ayru teach done get ayru demands meet ayru better start teaching ppl pikney and awre see better results come common entrance exam and cxc ayru stan up fu ayru rights an ah get um so me hope ayru do ppl pinkey them rights and teach them not up and down inna the school plant inna the latest Shein fashion wiz ayru 40 inch weave long fingernails pan the latest iphone ah mind ppl business and not teach the ppl pikney and them

    • @ Said what I said.. Teachers can do so much and no more with children. Unfortunate some children inherit ther parents or family genes and are like strainers. Think about that when you are trying to come for teachers

      • And some teachers don’t give af about the work just the money and that’s a fact. They care more about when Amerijet coming in with them outfits from Shein and which fete them ah go than track the ppl pikney and its a fact. Just like good doctors and bad doctors good police and bad police there are good and bad teachers and me sure the bad ones were well to glad not to go to work but will be the first one in line at the atm come month end. Now them getting their demands met gwan go teach the ppl pikney!!!! SAID WHAT TF I SAID!!!!!

  5. Move from under ma comment man. Me mussa touch one nerve. U mussa inna the polling station wid me when me dey ah vote. FOH. And for the record I SAID WHAT I SAID!!!! When the teacher demands are meeting them better start teaching ppl pinkey!!!!!

  6. @Sideline, must you drag everything into the dust of politics? As far as I know, most teachers are ALP supporters, and perhaps that was the colossal blunder they made on January 18th, since this government has a history of making empty promises. Don’t believe everything Daryl Matthew says. We know you Labourites are first grade liars just like the idiotic, narcissistic leader of your incompetent party. Use your head for once man. Do you think if they had met ALL the teacher’s demands there would still be ongoing industrial action?
    They installed cameras and lights, but do they work? I can tell you for a fact that that is not the case. They have been stalling with the fence at Pares Secondary for years, making empty promises about special attention and intentions to repair, but nothing ever happens. Again, I know this for a fact. The simple fact is, these ALP ministers are not trustworthy, thus necessitating the current actions.

  7. The only people playing games is the government. Stop using our children as a political Pawns.
    You are trying to guilt trip teachers into giving up on what they believe is fair and deserved by using our children. WE KNOW YOU HAVE NO SHAME.
    Why not use that money to pay the people who are really doing all the hard work.
    We’ve got a dictator for PM, a fraudster for a AG, a liar for Chief of Staff and a Commissioner of Integrity who has none.

  8. I wonder how many of my fellow teachers (who are around long enough), will step up and admit that the issues that we are having didn’t start within the last 10 years. They were going on under both the UPP and ABLP. I am happy that the issues are finally being addressed and sorry that we have had to take such a stance now, but make no mistake……

    THIS IS BOTH A RED AND A BLUE ISSUE AND THEY ARE BOTH AT FAULT!! Yes the ABLP now have to deal with it, but both political parties should be damned ashamed and in all honestly UPP should just not even say anything, because our struggles were just as real while you were in power.

    I am begging every one of them to start pointing the fingers at themselves because they all contributed to it.

    • Hope ya ready to be drag to hell and back 🤭🤭🤭 because of lot of the commenters on here sure as hell love to drag ABLP and rightful so but when. It comes to UPP them get a sudden dose of memory loss😃

      • @ Both ABLP and UPP

        The ”spinners” for the ABLP are out in force. Whenever you see them typing it ‘was the same under UPP” just know they are paid minions and spinners of the ABLP.
        How many years was the UPP in office? The one called ‘Sideline’ like to talk about the teachers strike in 1978/1979- this shows the teachers struggle LONG LONG LONG LONG BEFORE UPP, when VC Bird tear gassed the teachers and never honoured the privy council ruling to pay the teachers. WHAT A WICKED MAN AND WICKED PARTY. so do not try to wrap up all this in one package saying ‘they are all the same”, THEY ARE NOT, you useful and useless idiots.

        • I think you totally missed what the writer was saying. You sir madam (don’t know who you are) are making this a red issue because you hate ABLP. The struggles of teachers have been going on long enough for the writer to say so. I read the comments are he/she is saying that she’s been teaching long enough to KNOW that it was the same under BOTH political parties. Why does the writer have to be a spinner? The person is speaking from experience and history.

          Why do you have to berate the writer? Look the nurses are saying just today that their issue goes past 10 years.

          Why make everything ABLP’s fault when we have had issues that ALL major parties have helped to cause. Not everything has to be red or blue, it can be both! Keep your head high man and maybe you will see that the sun is also yellow.

  9. Again, I have to remind many of the commentators on here, that Antigua & Barbuda had 50 years of Birdism and Browneism governance; and if you deduct the 10 years of the Spencer years, ABLP still had 40 years to resolve the problems in the country we are now experiencing.


    Remember, Brixtonian has no memory loss to the ABLP past lack of action.

    • Brixtonian that isn’t fair at all. I think that you are being very hypocritical and almost vindictive with your statement. Every political party had a chance to change things and all they did was let the issue snowball into a bigger issue that has now reared its ugly head.

      You know I honestly waited to hear what the UPP had to say about what they did for teachers when they were in office and sadly (as I am a UPP supporter) they have remained quiet and that was very telling for me. They may not have caused or started this problem but they did nothing to help in fixing it. Everyone also says that Government is continuous and yes all governments inherit problems, but something could’ve been done even if they were only in power for 5 years.

      Your own words state “Again, I have to remind many of the commentators on here, that Antigua & Barbuda had 50 years of Birdism and Browneism governance;”

      So in other words just sweep 10 years under the carpet? So teachers did not have the same struggles during those 10 years? They didn’t ask for the same things that they are asking for now?

      I have to admit that for someone who usually enjoys your statements, I was very disappointed in this one.

      • I respect your your well balanced response to my ANR thread.

        I will always have time for anyone’s counterpoised reply if it doesn’t resort to unnecessary soundbites, name calling or “shooting” the messenger.

        I’m not disappointed at all @ Disappointed 😁

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