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WATCH: English Language Teachers Are Sleeping In Cars And Resorting To Food Banks Because Of Work Conditions

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Some teachers at an English language school have resorted to food banks and sleeping in their cars as a result of their working conditions, said head of Union of Professional Educators Graham Sansone at a protest earlier today.

“It has been a very difficult three months. They were just given the COVID-19 supplement and, because they are on zero-hour contracts, they received 500 max,” he said.

Staff of Clubclass English Language school in Swieqi gathered earlier today in a historic protest after negotiations to discuss their working conditions with the school’s owner allegedly failed.

“The majority of teachers would have been away in January and February. They were on a pro-rata payment so some teachers have received €260 euros,” continued Sanson. 

The vast majority of teachers are on zero-hour contracts, which means they don’t get paid if there’s no work for them to do and they’re not entitled to sick leave or vacation leave. Clubclass said they have allowed for some of these benefits.

Though they were entitled to the COVID-19 supplement scheme, they were only classified as part-timers and therefore were capped at the €500 mark.

“It’s not enough to live on. We have people who have lost their houses, people who are on their way to losing their houses, people who are living in cars and who are resorting to food banks on a daily basis” said Sansone.

In addition to campaigning for their work conditions, protesters were also calling for their right to unionise to be enforced.

“It’s disgusting that in the year 2020 that we have a situation where this basic right of an employee is being held by an employer.”

“We have been asking for recognition and the sacramental rite of being affiliated with a trade union is enshrined in the constitution.”

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