Teachers to stay off the job until their demands are met



It is popularly believed that teaching is a work of heart. Teachers are the souls of our societies and vehicles of change, launching their students into a future full of possibilities.

They nurse physical wounds, mend broken spirits, and inspire wide-eyed wonderers. Teachers are the indispensable everyday heroes who, with no pomp and circumstance, continue to fortify this twin island state.

The Executive of the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers stands firmly with its members who have given and continue to give themselves to the education system in the face of insurmountable challenges.

We have consistently made the necessary sacrifices to ensure the nation’s youth are given the best opportunity to thrive within a society that calls for 21st Century skills but makes 18th Century investments in education.

We toil year after year, work in unsafe environments where breaches in our contractual agreements are a norm, and must wait many years before being correctly renumerated. Yet, we are constantly compared to schools and nations that do more than talk the talk.

The Antiguan and Barbudan teacher is exhausted.

Our souls lament the state of education in this twin-island nation. The haphazard approach to planning taken by managers of our system leaves much to be desired, and we can no longer ignore the consistent breaches of their responsibilities towards the teachers and students of this nation.

So, today we stand firm in our resolve to withhold our services until the demands made have been satisfactorily addressed.

To relent is to allow mediocrity to permeate the fibres of our system as has been done in the past, and we cannot continue to operate in this manner.

The Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers envisions a future where education becomes a priority. We envision a future where our politicians and technocrats move beyond lip service and, indeed seek to invest in our young people.

The future of our nation is dependent on us as educators. They are looking to us to equip our students with the skills needed to take us to the next level.

Therefore, I call upon the Ministry of Education to swiftly and adequately address the issues on the ground 1 call upon the Cabinet to contemplate our contract proposals and make a fair counter-proposal.

I call upon our teachers to remain fortified in our quest for fair remuneration and a safe working environment.

We ask our parents and the wider society to stand with us because a healthy and happy teacher leads to a healthy and happy system. Our students need us! We cannot let them down!

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]


  1. Easy fix: dock dem salary for every day they remain off the job. Damn spiffy.

    The Union ask for certain things and 80 per cent already do, but you still want fu tap home? No pay, and see how dem like dat.

    The Teachers Union so privilege dat dem ah de only union who fah general secretary work fu the union full time and still get pay from the government. This need fu stop. Mek the union pay dem employees from dem dues. Dem want fu play, then play fair.

    • You need to go back to your seat in the corner at the back of the class and be quiet. Further, who gave you permission to remove your dunce cap!!!

    • You’re kidding right? You know what it feels like to go to college or university to become a trained or educated teacher (which is beneficial to the students) and still can’t get your correct salary? I personally know someone who has been waiting, up to today, to get her correct salary since 2016. Plus the back pay. Most classroom resources are paid for BY THE TEACHERS… And let’s not talk about security. You wanna duck teachers pay? You can ask Gaston what he does with his big salary and can’t pay teachers. Go have several seats.

    • I never heard such nonsense you have the slightest idea what teachers go through. With everything they throw at us we still manage to pull through. What of the 80%? some teachers who got upgrade but still waiting on their retroactive pay, other teachers who still waiting on their upgrade, situations where parents come on compound and ready to fight teachers, the stealing of equipments from the school that has to be put back by the same government which makes them spend more or is it the teachers who use the same salary that they get to ensure that students get the necessary items needed for a productive learning because when you requisition for things you are told the government has no money but was willing to spend ridiculously during election. The same teachers pay you want to duck that go above and beyond their duties going school during vacations, having students call all hours of the day because they need our help. Please just stop your foolish talk if you have not the slightest clue.

    • Bolans Vere,

      As my students would say ‘ You fully DUNCE’. The government, for your information, has been playing send the fool a little further since the start of the school year, with these teachers. Even if only 0.5% of the demands are not met at this point, the teachers have all right to stand up and stay away from the classrooms due to the length of time that they have been waiting for these issues to be addressed.

      Even further, against the wishes of the teachers, the government was allowed an extension of time on several occasions for these issues to be addressed. What kind of society are we creating if as educators, we teach our children that it is okay to stand for nothing and accept the bare minimum when we knowingly deserve better?

      As you sit so lowly on your very high horse, some of us dare to educate the youth to one day be in a position where they can demand how the are treated by ANY sitting government and not merely beg for handouts and be constantly caught in a position to accept condescending behaviour, mere crumbs and more handouts, just because ‘ a dat minister day ge me d job to clean up yah so (SO) or pull a few strings to get me in (although I know nothing)’.

      People like you are the reason why the current government must make haste in meeting the demands of these teachers, to prevent the festering of more minds like yours.

      Go read a book while school is out and thank a teacher that you can.

  2. Very insightful and hopeful letter. Of course, the teachers and other support within the schools have my support. Right On. So sad education seems unimportant and poorly supported.

    You are doing the right thing.

    • If education was unimportant then I’d th je government investing so much money in building out several schools. Giving away so many scholarships. Bringing the UWI FIVE ISLANDS to our country and investing another US$80million to built it out. Expanding ABICE with the new HARISSON Centre. Building early childhood centers and much more. No other government has invest so much money in education. Teachers were offered FREE tertiary education. Do that they could be better equipped to teach our children. During Covid they all got free training in providing online teaching. Yes their salaries are nog op to par, but the freebies they got they don’t take into account. And many teachers freelance to make extra money. All provide extra after school classes. And they are not cheap.

  3. It’s time to play hardball. Bring back Papa Bird times. https://www.workersunion.org.tt/news-and-views/2022-news-and-views/the-use-of-state-violence-and-the-law-against-strikes-and-mass-revolts-in-a
    We know the screen play already. We only have new actors. Get them replaced a.s.a.p. No one should hold a government for ransom. While in the meantime the children suffer. They can take other measures, given that some of their needs are met. The education of our children should be paramount. Once you give into these kinds of pressure tactics, you will see others will follow. And then where does it end? Not everyone can get the same portion of the pie. I heard the union member on the radio Twin Island Media one morning saying the government had it in the 2019 budget so they should find the money. I really cannot believe these are our educators. The budget from 2019 can completely be scrapped because of covid. The revenues were not there for many more years to come. Even today the revenue has not reached pre-covid levels. All government revenues were directed to Health. Keeping the nation safe. Getting new facilities, paying nurses their overtime. Building new hospitals just in case we had outbreaks. You name it. Getting medical supplies. Distributing free masks and hand-sanitizer in the workplaces. These people think that their burden is the heaviest.

    • How quickly have you forgotten that the 2 main parties in Antigua cane out of the same trade union movement. That the same Papa Bird was the leader of AT&LU until he became primer. Regardless of what freebies government has given out, teachers are only asking what is due to them. Teachers are not begging favours and handouts, they are asking for what is rightfully theirs so that they can afford to look after there families. An increase in education, comes with an increase in pay. Even if the government provided the means, the teachers still had to put in the work. If everyone sit on the side and just accept whatever the government doles out, there will never be any progress. Prices have been skyrocketing and salaries have remained the same.
      On a side, let us not also forget that prior to election the government was in vigorous negotiations with the various unions for a raise in civil setvants salary and then after election not a sound was to be heard on it, after they threw a month’s salary at people in an aim to win an election. Where is that vigour now?

  4. Bless up to the teachers an dem! I wish this same measure was taken when during covid the government tell dem who nah want tek de vaccine dem carn go pon de school compound and never gave them any salaries for TWO MONTHS. Shame pon de union for not standing tall then, but are you get me thumbs up fu this one yah!👍

  5. I think too many of us have become so poisoned by “the government” that we now think it’s ok to just sit and accept whatever they throw at us. If they owe me $2 more and they supposed to pay don’t hand me no crap about I got something so head back into the same crap because of the kids. Just like how as a teacher I have a responsibility, they damn people in charge also have one and they almost NEVER, live up to it, but nooooo me a one bad person to stand up for mine. I have 2 children in 4th form and I totally support the teachers in what they are doing. My children will make it for sure, even if it takes 3 more weeks they will catch up with my help. Teachers do what you have to.

  6. Well done,Teachers. Time enough for you to stand up for your rights and what is rightfully yours.Way to go.

  7. You know what irritates me about this? Everyone (teachers included) are talking about the government this and the government that and Gaston this and Gaston that. I have been a teacher under TWO administrations and have had the same issues. We’ve been begging for the same thing for almost 15-20 years now and neither red nor blue has addressed it. My thing is don’t politicize my issue. Pay me what is fair and be done with it. Don’t want to pay me more then don’t expect the extras out of me.

  8. Stand up for what you believe in and your right!!
    Strike if you have to..
    Antigua a cartoon country don’t let the government walk all over you..
    You have a tough job to educate
    Our future leaders!
    Your people are our natural resources..I stand with you as a fellow civil servant.

  9. I hope when the teachers get what they rightly deserve they will begin to show up for class, actually teach the students when they show up and cut back on lengthy sick days. Now, not all teachers are the same but too many are in it for the money and it shows. The government should give them what they deserve but make certain they produce what you pay them for.

  10. All of the negative comments are from persons who have NO CLUE as to the importance of teachers! We not only teach your children, but we provide them with breakfast AND lunch when YOU either don’t have it or can’t afford it! We provide school supplies, out of our OWN pockets, we might add, when YOU DON’T provide! We listen to them and reassure them when YOU don’t give them the time of day!
    We work in environments where people walk off the streets and try to beat up students and us! Sometimes the Board of Education stores do not arrive on time and we have to BUY our own toilet paper, white board markers and other things to efficiently run our school plant. We show up on weekends and holidays to help our students who are writing exams, ALL WITHOUY BLOWING A TRUMPET! Yet, for decades these very issues go unresolved and we return to work on good faith! I daresay, it is blind faith! We have been cursed and threatened by the very ones whose children come to us for refuge! When will this nation treat teachers like they deserve to be treated, like the educators of all other professions! We are the manufacturers of the brilliant lawyers, doctors, secretaries, yes, and even politicians who claim we are grandstanding! The Union must stay strong! Solidarity forever!

Comments are closed.