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Public sector workers ‘uncomfortable’ with government management styles

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By Elesha George

[email protected]

The Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA) said its members were unhappy with the level of representation they are getting from the government.

ABPSA President Joan Peters said workers are “uncomfortable” with the way the government is handling its employees saying “they are not happy at all”.

The union represents 500 established and unestablished registered civil servants who they say are now afraid to talk about their issues.

“I think there’s a built-up fear among working people at the moment… because as soon as you say anything, the Prime Minister comes out and he gives it to you left, right and centre; everyone is scared right now,” said Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA) General Secretary Janela Evanson.

Another priority area of ​​contempt for union members is the absence of wage negotiations for nearly 18 years.

According to Chairman Peters, the parties have not met to discuss salary increase negotiations since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The last time we signed a contract was on the 23rdrd of December 2004,” Peters said.

The two explained that negotiations began in 2018 and were resubmitted in 2019 after making adjustments to the proposal. They have since had a meeting before Covid-19 overshadowed the negotiations.

Peters, however, said she hoped negotiations could resume before the end of 2022.

Meanwhile, a persistent problem with drinking water was recently resolved after several months.

“I work in a ministry and as April is the last time, I remember we received drinking water,” remarked Evanson, who said the lack of water was due to non-payment of the water company by the government.

“Earlier in the year we had the same problem, the government gave them some kind of money and they started bringing water back and the same problem continues and they stop,” he said. she declared.

According to Evanson, staff members had been collecting money to buy water for the office until the second week of September when an assistant secretary provided water for the office.

Other issues include health and safety inside government buildings which are against Labor Code, non-payment of Covid-19 benefits, working conditions in Clarevue and overdue hazard benefit at Sir Lester Bird Medical Center.

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