Despite the commitment of workers in Antigua and Barbuda during the pandemic, very little progress has been made in advancing working conditions for public and private workers in Antigua and Barbuda.
For those workers who were on the frontline, nurses, teachers, police officers, EMS workers and others, no consideration has been extended to them in recognition of their selfless efforts and commitment. For the LIAT and CAS and tourism-industry workers who lost their jobs, they have not received any economic support to help rebuild their lives or livelihoods.
Our teachers, principals and support staff in the public schools continue to function, despite poor working condition. Many have concerns about security and safety; salaries and reclassification; the shortage of textbooks and laptops, and low morale.
The work conditions of the police officers also needs urgent attention – from derelict stations and unpaid insurance to the lack of uniforms and the shortage of tools to perform their duties, even as crime is spiking out of control and people – in broad daylight – are living in fear.
Other public servants also face significant workplace challenges – overcrowded offices, the lack of drinking water, the long-drawn-out wait for backpay and salary increases….
For the hundreds of vendors and contractors who, together, are owed $163 million by the Browne Administration, with neither a payment plan or payment date in sight, the UPP will ensure that a reliable payment plan is put in place to write off the outstanding debt in a specified time frame.
The UPP will uplift and empower workers with the following commonsense solutions:
– $10 National Minimum Wage; wages will increase thereafter to keep up with inflation.
– 10% Pay Raise for Govt Workers.
– Majority of the debts owed to Govt Workers and Service Providers will be paid within 1 year.
– Full severance payment to former LIAT and CAS Workers.
– Payment of the 2 months wages forfeited by workers during the Vaccine Mandate.
In addition, workers will also benefit from a lower cost of living under the new UPP Government: Reduced customs duties to reduce food prices and the cost of building materials. Lower fuel variation charge to lower electric bills. Cheaper gas and diesel, as UPP keeps consumption tax at a reasonable level to pass on savings.
The new UPP Government will also make homeownership easier for workers, through affordable housing initiatives such as Rent-to-own and Buyer Assist homeownership grants.