The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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UHM registers trade dispute on behalf of court deputy registrars over collective agreement

Monday, 10 July 2017, 08:28 Last update: about 8 years ago

Court officers have been left fuming over receiving none of the agreed upon benefits and pay-scale adjustments from a deputy registrar’s sectoralcollective agreement signed and concluded two months ago, resulting in a trade dispute being registered by UHM voice of the workers.

The collective agreement pertaining to deputy registrars within the law courts was negotiated between UHM with the Justice Ministry and the court administration. The agreement also covers the Gozitan courts as well as the Maltese law courts. After the lengthy period of time taken to hammer out all details of the agreement, it was concluded and signed two months ago.

UHM assistant director Edwin Balzan, in comments to The Malta Independent, explained that so far, workers have failed to see any of the agreed upon benefits or adjustments in the pay-scale.

Mr Balzan said that a letter was sent three days ago in order to rectify the situation.

“This union is registering an industrial dispute with regards court deputy registrars. This is due to the reasons that the works have not enjoyed any benefits that were negotiated in the agreement.

“It is shameful that after several months these workers are still not benefiting from the agreement, despite it being in effect. Despite this, the administration has done nothing to ensure that the workers are receiving what is theirs by right.

“If this were a disciplinary case, action would be taken on the same day, but when it comes to giving workers what is rightfully theirs, this is not executed...”

Mr Balzan said that if no response is given to the union by Wednesday, it will issue a directive to its workers which would see intentional major disruptions, such as workers advised not to answer phones or e-mails, or to do the bare minimum in order to get their message across.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Balzan said that with regards court marshals and messengers, proposals were sent some five months ago in order to set up a collective agreement, and in this whole time there has been no acknowledgment or response.

In April 2017, TVM issued a report stating that “the current staff [court deputy registrars] will benefit immediately from an improvement in their salaries as their years of experience will be recognised and therefore the employees will be placed at salary scales higher than they are now, to reflect the new scales of this collective agreement”.

The agreement also delved into promotion structures and incentives to continue studying.

None of this appears to have taken place which is the basis of the workers’ frustration and dejection.

 

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