The Malta Independent 16 May 2022, Monday

MUMN refuses to attend health ministry meetings where newly appointed person of trust is present

Wednesday, 11 May 2022, 14:06 Last update: about 4 days ago

The Malta Union for Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) has decided not to attend Wednesday's planned meeting with the Ministry for Health to discuss the situation surrounding Joseph Pace, a Mount Carmel Hospital (MCH) nurse and manager who is accused of misconduct after a patient self-harmed under his watch back in 2017.

The reason, the union said, is that the permanent secretary within the Ministry for Health decided to appoint an ex General Workers' Union official - Jeremy Camilleri - as a person of trust.


In a statement, the union said that it was Joseph Pace himself who brought this up with the MUMN, remarking that "it is not acceptable for political appointees to be present in his meeting".

The MUMN said it was shocked to learn that the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Health decided to appoint an ex-official of the GWU as its adviser for all industrial relations meetings, and thus has decided that it "will not be accepting to attend any meeting in his presence to discuss any union issues, including sectorial agreements of nurses & midwives and one regarding the ECG technicians."

"This shows that all nursing and midwifery issues will not be discussed with the Permanent Secretary himself and the current Director General responsible for industrial relations within the Health Department", the statement read.

The union added that the new Permanent Secretary has rendered irrelevant high government officials positions within the health department, with the appointment of a position of trust.

When the union brought this issue up with the Permanent Secretary, it was told that "no one can tell him what to do."

"This shows no respect, not only to Joseph Pace but also to all unions officials. To defend his 'friends with benefits', the newly appointed perm. Sec is ready to take the MUMN to court by issuing a mandate if MUMN is to resort to industrial actions to defend its rights", the union said.

It added that by appointing Camilleri, the new Permanent secretary shows that he did not learn from past mistakes as "when such political appointees were appointed in the past within the health ministry, who also happened to be ex-officials of the GWU, these resulted in the resignation of the Director General, since a power struggle was taking place within the Ministry itself".

The union also said that this was not the first time it objected to such happenings, as this also occurred under a nationalist government, with the difference being that back then the person of trust appointed was an ex-union haddiema maghqudin official.

At the time, the MUMN also refused to attend meetings when this adviser was present, it said.



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