Malta’s Union of Professional Educators (UPE) has issued a directive orderings its vulnerable members to remain at home and be available to work online, upon the reopening of schools.
The union expressed concerns about its members’ health in light of the recent surge in cases.
“During the past weeks, there has been a worrying consistently high daily number of positive cases together with an equally high transmission rate,” the UPE said.
“The union has also been following communications published by the WHO, which has also stated multiple times that COVID-19 will still retain its high risk factor until a vaccine is found which will adequately cater for the resolution of the pandemic at large.“
Yesterday, Malta register 43 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 new recoveries, bringing the number of active cases up to 399.
“It thus became clear to the union, that our educators and the general public are being put at high risk of contagion with the re-opening of schools,” the union continued.
“As well as possibly exposing them to the possibility of suffering long-term repercussions to their health as confirmed by Prof. Gauci during the face-to-face meeting the Ministry had with the union at the OPM.”
A survey conducted by this same union last month showed that of its 1,285 members, 87% would rather schools return to an online learning system.
The UPE has also officially requested that the Ministry of Education and Employment issues a risk assessment for every school and an individual risk assessment for vulnerable educators.
“The directive will hold until the UPE can put its mind at rest that its members are not being unnecessarily and recklessly exposed to a virus which might prove fatal to this category,” the union concluded.
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