The Malta Independent 23 June 2024, Sunday
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MUT revealed excerpts of government proposals that go against electoral promises, PN says

Monday, 20 May 2024, 18:34 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Nationalist Party said on Monday that excerpts of the government’s proposals to teachers which were revealed by the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) go against the Labour Party’s electoral pledges.

The PN said that the excerpts show that the government is evidently playing with words and is not giving all the facts.

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It said that, according to MUT, the published excerpts are the final government proposals tabled during negotiations in the so-called “Comprehensive Document,” and they are not as Minister for Education, Clifton Grima, is saying to the media.

This is why an atmosphere of tension has been created in the most delicate phase of negotiations, in fact, the MUT announced that Monday should have been the day that it presents the agreement documents to its members. It added that the agreement remains unfinished and for this reason, an industrial dispute has been registered.

The PN said that as opposed to what the Minister is saying, new teachers will be given a raise of €3,000 not €10,000, meaning that the new teachers will not have a pay of €36,000. It said that furthermore, according to the excerpts, secondary school teachers will have an increase in lessons, so much so, that the proposal goes against the National Education Strategy, recently announced by the government, which consistently speaks about the importance of the well-being of teachers and educators.

The PN said that it is also understood that owed payments will be given from the January of 2024 and not of 2023 and the heads of departments, kindergarten educators and LSE’s will not be given financial allocations if they have more than 20 years’ experience in class.

It said that it is evident that the government is not properly giving teachers and educators that which it has long been promising them. The PN noted that the negotiations are at an advanced stage but it also said that it understands that the financial package doesn’t uphold the electoral promise of a “substantial increase.”

It said that once again the education sector is being threatened by a government that is not showing an absolute commitment towards the profession, so much so, that it is facing an ultimatum from the MUT which expires at the end of this week. It said that for this reason, the PN appeals to the government to address the issues on which consensus cannot be reached between itself and the MUT, immediately. 

The PN added that in a case where the two parties do not reach an agreement, then the Sectoral agreement will remain unfinished, months after the national strike back in November, last year. It said that the government is obliged to negotiate and not decide off its own accord as the rights of teachers and educators should be observed and given importance. This ongoing attitude is causing anxiety in the educational sector which the PN said is a political football for the government.

The PN maintained its belief that the negotiations should never have been so prolonged and remains committed to continue dialogue and be the shield of the teachers and educators whose profession should be respected to give the best education to children.

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