St John’s, Antigua – 12 April 2023 – Employees at the Board of Education (BOE) who become fathers will benefit from an increase in the number of days allocated for paternity leave.
The increase comes as a provision in the latest Collective Agreement between the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) and the BOE.
Paternity leave is a benefit that the Union has long advocated for in many of its agreements.
The Union commends the BOE for its progressive and welcoming approach to maximizing this benefit.
The provision awards a total of ten days to new fathers and is among the highest offered in any collective agreement negotiated by the ABWU.
Other benefits contained in the agreement include increases in compassionate leave, vacation leave, uniform allowances, and salaries.
Executive Secretary of the BOE, Carla Farquhar, described the negotiations as “amicable”, noting that the agreement helped to further streamline the relationship between management and the staff. “It also provides for some level of accountability because the guidelines are clearly denoted in the agreement and so it allows for a better working environment,” Farquhar explained.
Chairperson of the BOE, Denise Gardiner, commended all parties for the level of fairness demonstrated throughout the negotiations.
Human Resources Manager, Sharon Proctor, said the BOE was pleased to advance the well- deserved benefits to its employees.
“The Board has demonstrated – through this negotiation – full commitment to the staff and appreciation of the dedication and contributions that the staff has made,” Proctor said.
Meanwhile, staff representative, Erol Henry, expressed delight at the outcome of the negotiations.
Henry said he believed that the management and board members were genuinely interested in making the staff more comfortable.
Senior Industrial Relations Officer, Fernando Samuel, pledged the Unions commitment to strengthening its relationship with the BOE in the interest of the employees.
The Collective Agreement covers the period 1 June 2021 – 31 May 2024.