The Malta Independent 24 October 2020, Saturday

Strike to be called by UPE ‘imminently’

Saturday, 17 October 2020, 20:08 Last update: about 6 days ago

The Union of Professional Education said it is in the process of issuing a strike directive as a result of the government’s inaction in its control of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today, Saturday the 17th of October 2020, Malta has registered the highest number of new cases ever registered since the outbreak of the pandemic on the island, the union said in a statement, adding that it is weighed down by the implication of these numbers and is immensely worried about the health and safety of its members at all levels.

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With all of this in mind, the UPE has sent a communication to the Ministry of Education and the Central Government, requesting an urgent meeting by no later than Monday the 19  October 2020. The Ministry and the Central Government are to consider this date an ultimatum to finally engage in social dialogue. If this social dialogue fails to take place within the stipulated timeframe, the UPE will begin to issue a number of directives, which if unheeded might even escalate to a strike.

The UPE thus requests the Ministry of Education, and the Central Government, to accept this last invitation, and to accept to meet up around a table to seriously discuss the provision of online education so as to ensure the safety of our educators and students alike, before it is too late.

To those who are currently not unionised, or who are debating as to whether they should join the union, the UPE says that this is not the time to sit back, wait, watch, and hope for the better. Now is the time to take things into your own hands and actively join a union which is prioritizing your health and safety, a union which will always ensure that your working conditions are safeguarded, and a union which, only with your help, will be able to sit at the table to negotiate a decent financial package in the next collective agreement.

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