Malta’s teachers union has called out MCAST and the Education Ministry for issuing a “misleading” press release yesterday that threatened legal action, after a mediation meeting was held over teachers refusing to share exam results due to salary upgrades not having been adopted.
MUT (Malta Union of Teachers), said this meeting had to be cut short because MCAST decided it wanted an official from the Industrial Relations Unit to be present but he was unavailable, even though MUT, MCAST and the mediator were all ready to continue the meeting regardless of the time. The meeting was postponed to Tuesday.
“Despite this, and contrary to the spirit of mediation, MCAST together with the support of the Education Ministry launched an attack on MUT and its members and threatened legal action.”
“This is unacceptable for the MUT and it’s clear that MCAST and the Ministry do not want to reach an agreement. MUT will still attend today’s mediation meeting but is ready to escalate industrial actions if the meeting’s conclusion is not desirable.”
In yesterday’s press release, MCAST and the Education Ministry pointed out that the meeting held “still did not result in a positive outcome, and further talks are expected tomorrow”.
“The Ministry for Education reiterates its strong position in favour of students’ rights to obtain their results and will support MCAST in taking all legal provisions as required if talks fail,” it said.
MCAST Principal and CEO Professor Joachim James Calleja was quoted as saying: “The directive is disproportionate to the claims made against the College’s management. The dispute relates to the interpretation of the salary increments of the payment structure from 2017 to 2018. To date, it is only one case that is being contested. In turn, this one case is preventing students from the right to receive their results and lecturing staff from finishing a challenging year.”
MCAST proposed the collective agreement for managers, which MCAST already signed, is to be signed by MUT. They also called on MUT to immediately suspend the directive and allow students to receive their results.
“So far, the Union did not suspend the directive as is expected during negotiations that promote positive industrial relations. MCAST will continue to encourage respectful, open dialogue to ensure that staff and students’ rights are safeguarded,” they said.
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