Malta’s nurses union is calling for the resignation of the Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary over a number of concerns related to working conditions for Phlebotomists and Decontamination Sterilisation Technicians.
The union said it had been trying to reach an agreement with the ministry for a new sectoral agreement for the workers and that while it had adopted a proactive approach to the talks, the same could not be said of the ministry’s permanent secretary.
While not named in the union’s press release, Joseph Rapa is the current permanent secretary.
The union accused him of a “careless approach” and of having no concern for what it described as a shortage of Phlebotomists and Decontamination Sterilisation Technicians.
The permanent secretary, it said, was more interested in fighting the union’s directives in court than in trying to find a compromise.
The union said that Phlebotomists and Decontamination Sterilisation Technicians had been given a pay rise of €400 when other health workers had seen their salary increase by “thousands of Euro”.
Moreover, it claimed that the workers in question had been denied continuous professional development allowances.
The union also accused the permanent secretary of engaging in illegal activity by allegedly ordering an end to workers’ overtime. It called for a reversal of the order within 48 hours, in the absence of which it would impose further directives.
“MUMN is requesting the immediate resignation of the Permanent Secretary, since it should not wait for the election to change a Permanent Secretary who’s only attitude is to discriminate between Health Professionals, to punish those employees who are restoring to their right to follow industrial directives and to suppress MUMN Directives with no effort to reach an agreement for the benefit of the patients and to the service,” the MUMN said.
The threat is the latest in a series of disputes between the health ministry and the union, which regularly threatens industrial action.
Tag someone who needs to read this