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ABUT rejects government’s offer of 2 percent salary increase

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President of the Antigua Barbuda Union of
Teachers (ABUT), Ashworth Azille stated categorically on Tuesday that there was
no way that the union would accept the 1 or 2 percent salary increase being
offered by the government, for the teachers it represents.

 Azille supported his stance by referring to a promise made by
Prime Minister Gaston Browne during the 2018 Budget Speech when he offered a 5
percent increase to all public servants and stated that that increase would not
prejudice future negotiations.

Before then, the ABUT had asked for a 15 per cent increase
over a three-year period — a proposal that Azille said had been submitted two
years ago. He had stated that when a negotiation
job is given to a government team and they come clearly, as if they have no
mandate, it is counter-productive to the process of good negotiations.

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During an interview on OBSERVER AM yesterday,
Azille said that the negotiating team’s inability to present any mandate at
all, was prolonging negotiations at a disadvantage to the teachers.

However, he added that negotiations are still underway and that the union has not lessened its resolve to get what was promised to them. He said that while the union is not trying to break the government’s back he understood the obligation of the government to all public servants.

Read more in today’s newspaper

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