The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

Public Transport dispute: Subsidies owed to be approved, dispute resolved

Malta Independent Tuesday, 17 February 2009, 00:00 Last update: about 13 years ago

The Public Transport Association and the Malta Transport Authority yesterday agreed that subsidies due to bus owners for last year should be approved by tomorrow.

In a meeting held at 8.30am yesterday, the two parties agreed that auditors were to reconcile accounts and specify the difference due and have it approved. Thus the registered industrial dispute was resolved and the association was expected to issue a statement in confirmation, PTA president Victor Spiteri said.

Mr Spiteri told The Malta Independent that contrary to what had been the practice till now, auditors were not sent in December so the subsidy payment which was usually paid in the first two weeks of January was not made.

Auditors were only sent in after the Public Transport Association registered an industrial dispute last week, giving the government until 17 February to pay the subsidies due, provoking a statement by the Transport Ministry that the PTA was threatening a strike over subsidies for its days of strike last year.

Mr Spiteri said the PTA never threatened to resort to another strike. The association had accepted that subsidies were not to be paid for the four-day strike and the amount of subsidies, which is yet to be established by auditors, would be deducted from the e1.5 million in subsidies owed for last year.

The agreement reached on 17 July last year, which brought the bus owners’ strike to an end, had said that the association would not be paid for the four-day stoppage. The matter was to be referred to arbitration to establish what amount was to be deducted. However, the Transport Authority simply deducted e240,000 from the association’s dues in October rather than standing by the agreement.

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