The Malta Independent 1 March 2021, Monday

UHM suspends industrial action at the Attorney General’s Office

Friday, 19 February 2021, 19:31 Last update: about 9 days ago

The UHM Voice of the Workers announced on Friday that it is suspending industrial action at the Attorney General’s Office following the intervention of Minister Edward Zammit Lewis in an attempt to break the deadlock in talks for a new collective agreement.

The union said that it has received a guarantee that the collective agreement will be backdated from October 1, 2020 and that a series of meetings will be held with the objective of paving the way for the historic first collective agreement for the Attorney General’s Office.

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The UHM called for good will in order for this agreement to be concluded as soon as possible.

The union first resorted to industrial action on 14 January, “in the wake of the management’s refusal to start talks on a collective agreement.”

“In the absence of any collective agreement and in view of the impact which the Venice Commission reform had on their duties, the union requested talks for an agreement on a financial package reflecting this reality. It seems, however, that the management of the Attorney General’s Office is refusing to negotiate increases for these professionals. Consequently, at the start of December, UHM registered an industrial dispute and requested the management and the Government to reconsider their position. Unfortunately, this request was neither acknowledged nor honoured”, the union had said.

This industrial action was set to be stepped up as of this coming Monday, when new directives would have seen lawyers and legal procurators not appearing and not attending for sittings in the Court of Criminal Appeal (Inferior Jurisdiction).

They had accused the government of failing to ensure that professionals working at the AG’s office enjoy good working conditions.

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