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Antigua: Barbuda Council workers do not qualify for backpay, says Hurst

Even as members of the Barbuda Council await written communication from the government regarding backpay for workers on the sister island, government’s chief of staff Lionel Max Hurst is reaffirming the position that Barbudans are not eligible.

Hurst explained in an interview yesterday that the monies paid to public sector workers were as a result of their unions bargaining with the government for pay increases to which the government agreed but never paid, and the Barbuda Council workers were not part of that process.

“When it is time to pay backpay, it is the unionised workers that are entitled to receive the monies that have been owed to them,” Hurst said. He later added that Council workers are not paid by the government, citing that a sum of money is sent to Barbuda and the Council determines how it is to be spent.

The response from the government official came after Barbuda Senator Fabian Jones told the Senate that the Council was awaiting official notification from the Gaston Browne administration as to why its workers are ineligible.

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