LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Public Servants in Antigua Request Salary Increase After Talk of Pay Rise for Gov’t Ministers

The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

Dear Editor:
I read last week’s “article” on former politicians’ pensions and gratuities by Mr. Tommy Astaphan, QC, titled The Time of Reckoning is Upon Us.
Albeit a lengthy write-up that covered 3 full black and white pages of newsprint, I read it in its entirety with great interest and concentrated focus, not once, but twice!
And so, with the backdrop of Mr. Astaphan’s article last Friday and the passage of the Government of Anguilla’s 2022 Budget on Wednesday, I could not help but share the following story published in The Observer on January 11. Our Public Service workers should take heart.
Your humble public servant,

Public Servants in Antigua Request Salary Increase After Talk of Pay Rise for Gov’t Ministers
Public servants in Antigua have been reacting to possible salary increases for Cabinet ministers.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne revealed on the weekend that “many of my ministers, since last term, would have said to me that at some point we have to review the parliamentary pay”.
The comment has provoked public servants to take to social media and the radio to also request a salary increase in tandem to any rise given to ministers.
The collective clamour is that nurses, teachers and police officers are also deserving of long-awaited pay rises.
Currently a government minister gets paid EC$13,000 a month including allowances, Browne told The Observer last night.
In making a case for an increase, the Prime Minister argued that compared to the Cayman Islands, local parliamentarians do not make a sufficient wage.
He also said that their salaries are “less than a number of public servants” in Antigua and Barbuda.
“If you had to do an analysis of work that ministers do, and in particular the pay, there are many who will argue that they’re underpaid, based on the existing pay scales even in Antigua and Barbuda both in the public and private sectors,” Browne said.
However, he added that while increases can be considered, it would not be possible now and certainly not without also increasing the salaries of public servants.