The Malta Independent 27 February 2021, Saturday

MUMN threatens industrial action from Monday if mass events not banned, other issues not rectified

Thursday, 30 July 2020, 12:11 Last update: about 8 months ago

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses have threatened industrial action as from next Monday is a list of demands, which include the banning of mass gatherings where social distancing is not possible, are not met.

In a scathing statement on Thursday, the MUMN accused the Prime Minister of “ignoring the interests of the nurses and the healthcare work force from the very beginning of the Covid crisis”.

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The MUMN said that the Prime Minister had even refused to meet the MUMN even for an introductory meeting from the very start of his term in office.

“Our Prime Minister is the ONLY Prime Minister in Europe who is “too busy” to meet the Nurses’ Representatives and was “too busy” to thank the nurses for their contribution”, the MUMN said.

“To add insult to injury, the OPM never took heed on the advice of not just MUMN but neither of all the other Healthcare Associations in the country”, the MUMN said. 

The union also accused the Prime Minister of allowing mass events to fatten the pockets of a few select businessmen.

“We are informed that the actions of the Prime Minister for allowing mass events is not in favour of the economy but in favour of a few greedy businessman that are fattening their pockets with money which is more important than the lives of the vulnerable people and the healthcare workers”, the statement read.

MUMN President Paul Pace, above, posted on social media earlier on Thursday saying that 30 nurses were in quarantine


The union also accused the Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli of not knowing what she is doing.

“Compared to other European Countries, where nurses and other healthcare frontlines were given financial compensation due to the Covid crisis, our nurses and healthcare staff made huge financial losses in their pay roll”, MUMN continued.

“Being sent on quarantine, locked in a room for 14 days is a huge sacrifice and not being allowed to take care of your children are just some of the worst sacrifices nurses had to endure”, they added.

They said that by allowing such mass events to take place accompanied by tourism from high risk countries, such quarantine measures came back to haunt us.  

“Currently more than 30 nurses had to be put back to quarantine due to the irresponsible decisions taken by OPM and by the Tourism Minister”, the statement continued.

The MUMN listed six demands which they want met by Monday:

  • All Sunday and feasts allowance will still be granted even when the Nurses and other Health Care Professionals are sent on quarantine leave; 
  • Meal allowances to be given to all Health Care Workers working in SVP, Elderly Homes & Commcare, MCH, GGH, KGH and SLH;
  • 12 hours of VL to all Healthcare Workers who are working twelve hour shifts;
  • Employ all Third Country National Nurses through the current open call to address the shortage of nurses;
  • Guarantee of child support that needs to be agreed with MUMN, if closure of schools and child care takes place;
  • Guarantee the cancellation of mass events such as imported parties where no social distancing cannot be maintained. MUMN has vulnerable Health Care Professionals, (not to mention vulnerable people in the society) which MUMN has the duty to protect - Health Care Lives Matters;
  • A failure to guarantee these points would see the below directives come into force as of Monday 3 August, the MUMN said:

    All Nurses working in SVP, MDH, GGH, KGH, Elderly Homes, SAMOC & MCH are:

  • Not to wash any patients;
  • Not to ambulate patients to an armchair from a bed and vice versa;
  • Not to accompany patients to X-rays, theatres, out-patients etc;
  • The only forms to be filled by the nurses & midwives are the nursing report, treatment charts, output/input charting, blood glucose monitoring, TPR and Sp02 monitoring; No other forms are to be filled by nurses, physiotherapists, midwives etc. 
  • For the Physiotherapist working in SLH, GGH, SVP, MDH and KGH:

    Physiotherapists working in SLH are not to see more than three patients face to face per day;

    Physiotherapists working in the wards of KGH and GGH are not to access new patients and are not to carry out home visits.

    To all ECG Technician working in all hospitals:

  • Not to take ECGs which are sent and ordered through the outpatients departments;
  • Not to take any ECGs requested as a review between 5.00 a.m. and 7.00 a.m.
  • MDH Theatre:

    Only four theatres are to be used for emergency purposes only. All elective surgery is to be stopped or done without any nurses. All Nurses are to remain in theatre.

    Primary Health Care Department:

  • No bloodletting;
  • No plaster.

  • Earlier: MUMN President laments lack of respect from Prime Minister

    With the increase of COVID-19 cases due to mass gatherings, more than 30 nurses are under quarantine, according to Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) president Paul Pace.

    Pace took to social media to express his disappointment and frustration regarding the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, which has led to nurses being ‘deprived from their families and children’ as they are now under quarantine.  

    “No respect to Health Care Workers, Mr Prime Minister”, he lamented.

    On Thursday morning, the Health Authorities announced another 19 migrants have been tested positive with COVID-19. Therefore the number of active cases of the virus stands at 131.

    On Wednesday, the Health Authorities announced that there were 12 new local positive cases, along with 66 cases from migrants who were disembarked on Tuesday.

    More and more medical and business associations have spoken up and called for the cancellation of mass gatherings and parties.

    Numerous local party organisers have cancelled or postponed any upcoming events as pressure increases by the spike in COVID-19 cases. Doctors have warned that industrial action will be taken if permits for all mass events are not cancelled by Monday.

    So far, the government has not released a statement addressing the issue, however Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli has insisted on a balanced approach for the organisation of such mass gatherings.

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