The Malta Independent 27 May 2024, Monday
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PN slams government for ignoring problems of probation officers

Monday, 22 April 2024, 12:59 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Nationalist Party is very concerned about the situation concerning Probation Officers, who had declared a strike months ago due to the government's attitude, PN Spokespersons said.

PN MPs Ivan Castillo, Darren Carabott and Karol Aquilina said that the party expressed full solidarity with probation officers in light of their complaint regarding the weight of the 'case load' that they carry, which they said continued to increase to the point that their well-being, health and quality of work is being affected badly. The spokespersons added that these workers contribute to society, justice and the reform of the person, where their work is essential. 


The PN spokespersons said that the party has long been saying that the government didn't react and keeps on dragging its feet until workers' unions have no other avenue but to take action. The spokespersons said that apart from the workers being affected, the people being followed by the Department of Probation and Parole, alleged victims awaiting justice, police workers (from the aspect of prosecution), the judiciary, the staff of the Courts and lawyers are all also affected directly, they said.

These directives, which the workers have a right to undertake, are causing the whole process of reports in front of the courts to stall, which in turn, causes sentencing to stall, the PN spokespersons said. They said that it is ridiculous from the government's part to carry on with the propaganda to reform the Family Courts yet it fails to address and solve this problem that has been pending for months.

This lack of action, interest and skill from the government to adjust and address challenges immediately is putting unions in a position where they must react, the spokespersons said. This behaviour keeps on creating an unstable situation in the process of the system of reform and in the judicial system, "a disservice and injustice to workers in this sector and a disservice to society in general." The spokespersons likened the situation to that with educators, University workers, nurses and what the police went through.

The PN also thanked workers' unions such as UĦM Voice of the Workers and the union that represents probation officers in this case for their efforts, and joins in their calls, they said. They added that these unions are finding the doors closed by the government and have to wait for months for a meeting or a simple response in certain situations.

The spokespersons added that in this case, the union wasn't given any solution and was justified to do what was necessary to see the security and well-being of its members safeguarded.

"The Labour government must stop beating about the bush, take action on the scattering of its workers and resources and it must take action on assessing the resources government has to make better use of them," the spokespersons said. They said that this includes the Department of Probation and Parole that is working with only 20 probation officers and 4 Senior Probation Officers.

The PN believes that the staff needs help to reduce their current workload, the party spokespersons said.

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