The Malta Independent 21 September 2019, Saturday

Government, UĦM sign accord for 123 members of diplomatic corps

Friday, 23 August 2019, 14:35 Last update: about 28 days ago

An agreement was signed between the Government and UHM-Voice of the Workers, as a result of which over 123 employees of the diplomatic corps will be benefitting from better conditions at work. This agreement was presided over by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Promotion of Trade Carmelo Abela at the ministry in Valletta. The agreement that will come into effect as from the 1st of January of this year is the second one of its kind and the first one in 25 years.

The agreement will result in all the employees who form part of the diplomatic class and are based in Malta getting an allowance for the first time every year. Apart from that, they will also get better work conditions, which include the opportunity to advance from one grade to another in a shorter time span.

In his speech, Minister Carmelo Abela expressed his satisfaction, noting that after 25 years there is an agreement which will benefit all those who form part of the diplomatic class. This was all possible after a lot of work and long negotiations between the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the UĦM together with their respective teams.

Minister Abela said that in the near future, a recruitment call will be issued to provide opportunities for youth to choose a diplomatic career within the foreign affairs ministry.

“Currently, we are seeing positive times, given that after 40 years, Malta is aspiring to be part of the United Nations Security Council between 2023-2024 while strengthening Maltese embassies abroad. Last year, an embassy was been opened in Ghana, in Sub-Sahan Africa. This year, preparatory works have begun to open an embassy in Tokyo and a consulate in Morocco. This signifies a lot of new opportunities for all those youths interested in a career within the diplomatic corps in Maltese embassies abroad”, concluded Minister Abela.

He concluded by saying that he hopes that more youths are driven to choose a career in diplomacy, which offers various opportunities and experiences abroad. The minister stated that he is convinced that this agreement will serve to motivate the workers of the diplomatic class to continue working in a refined and precise manner in this sector which is of utmost importance to the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin Josef Vella, remarked that today marks the core of the negotiation process where a final compromise has been agreed upon for the benefit of the diplomatic service. “This is a service of a corps that works in silence. A class of workers that provide important work in a globalised world. They carry out preparation work on treaties between different countries. One has to admire the dedication of these workers”, said Mr Vella. He noted the need that was required for this agreement and that today the union is content to witness the strengthening of this position. In the name of UĦM he appealed for more youth to join a career in the diplomatic corps. He showed gratitude towards Minister Abela, Permanent Secretary AMB. Fiona Formosa, and the Industrial Relations Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister.

For the government, the signatories were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Fiona Formosa and Director Victor Grech, while Mr Jesmond Bonello and Mr Edwin Balzan signed on behalf of Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin.

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