The Malta Independent 20 April 2024, Saturday
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UHM - Voice of the Workers to join national protest following hospital concession court decision

Wednesday, 1 March 2023, 17:34 Last update: about 2 years ago

The UHM - Voice of the Workers has announced its participation in the national protest to be held in Valletta on Sunday, following a historic court decision to annul the agreement between Steward Health Care and the Maltese government on the running of three hospitals.

In a statement, the UHM said that it will also be addressing a separate issue related to the transfer of Steward employees to the government under the same conditions as their colleagues, which it said the government failed to honour.

These issues were discussed during a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech, at the union's headquarters in Floriana.

During the meeting, UHM CEO Josef Vella explained how the union had opposed the agreement on the hospitals since 2015, believing that it was not in the interest of the people and lacked transparency.

Vella recalled that in 2016, together with the doctors' union, they had requested an investigation by the Auditor General into the contract.

"This was a crucial decision, not only because we knew that this agreement should never have been made, but also because the investigation by the Auditor General was fundamental to the court's ruling that led to the agreement being annulled," Vella stated.

Vella pointed out that the issue of discrimination against Steward employees was ongoing, with some employees still being subjected to inferior working conditions and pay, despite doing the same work as their government-employed colleagues.

"It was only thanks to the persistence of the UHM that the government agreed to absorb these employees under the same conditions as those outlined in the agreement with Steward," Vella added.

"Unfortunately, to this day, these employees have still not been given what they are entitled to, and this is why we will continue to fight for justice," Vella said.

The UHM's participation in the national protest underscores its commitment to the cause and the issues it represents, the statement read.

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