The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Updated: MUT declares trade dispute with Church authorities, Curia replies

Saturday, 23 June 2018, 09:26 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Malta Union of Teachers has declared a trade dispute with the Secretariat for Catholic Education which is carrying out negotiations of a new Collective Agreement for teaching grades in church schools with MUT. After months of negotiations on a new agreement, negotiations failed since the demands of MUT to bring working conditions of teaching grades in church schools in line with their counterparts in state schools are not being met by the Church authorities.

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The MUT is listing the areas of disagreement:

1. The church authorities are not agreeing to a proposed mechanism whereby schools recognise the service of teaching grades already employed in church schools and who wish to provide their services in another church school;

2. The church authorities shall not be providing laptops to Kindergarten Educators and Learning Support Educators;

3. The church authorities are expecting to have a pick and choose mechanism when it comes to summative and continuous assessment which will lead to increase in workload;

4. The church authorities are employing teaching grades whose salaries are funded by the respective school and are providing conditions and salaries which are inferior to those of teaching grades whose salaries are funded by the Government;

5. The church authorities are not giving any adequate compensation to make up for the added workload caused by the preparation of exam papers;

6. The church authorities shall leave a group of seven counsellors outside current negotiations despite the fact that their salaries and conditions were always aligned in previous agreements with those of other grades in the same agreement.

The MUT said it will not be accepting conditions of work which are inferior to what is being expected and shall be updating members about the situation during a dedicated meeting.

In reply, the Secretariat for Catholic Education said it is surprised that the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) declared an industrial dispute on issues it is working on to resolve.

The Union is also informed that, in the coming days, the Secretariat has meetings scheduled with different entities to discuss the issues highlighted by the MUT. The Secretariat said that all education grades employed by Church Schools and reimbursed by the State enjoy the same financial remuneration through the agreement reached between the Holy See and the Republic of Malta in 1991.

Similarly, all education grades paid directly by Church Schools and governed by the collective agreement with the MUT enjoy identical conditions. The Secretariat said that employers have a right and obligation to develop roles to suit the respective contextual needs, which interested and eligible candidates may freely choose to express interest in and eventually take up through selection processes.

The Secretariat said it is very conscious of its responsibility towards its education grades and thousands of students, and is fully committed in pursuing its efforts to reach an agreement which is respectful towards the rights of employees, the service it renders to its learners whilst guaranteeing the unique identity, autonomy and mission of Church Schools. 

 

 

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