The Malta Independent 18 July 2024, Thursday
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‘PM keeps blaming everyone for his own mistakes’ – PN says as MCAST principal removed

Friday, 21 June 2024, 12:50 Last update: about 26 days ago

The Nationalist Party has said that "Robert Abela's government has lost complete control over the situation at MCAST," following the decision not to renew the contract of its principal, Prof. James Calleja.

MCAST principal Joachim James Calleja confirmed to Times of Malta that his contract was not renewed, amid reports he was sacked on Friday. It reported that "the post-secondary institution continues to be overshadowed by ongoing industrial action, with the college remaining locked in a dispute with the Malta Union of Teachers over a long-lapsed collective agreement."

The Nationalist Party said that the responsibility of the institution's collective agreement negotiations falls under both the Prime Minister, as well as the Minister for Education Clifton Grima.

In its party statement, written by PN's Shadow Minister for Education, Justin Schembri, the Nationalist Party said that Abela is a man "who promises and does not fulfil" and Grima must shoulder responsibility after failing to conclude a collective agreement with MUT two and a half years after the previous one expired.

In early April of this year, the Prime Minister said that he was "optimistic" that an agreement could be reached "in the coming weeks" during discussions on a new collective agreement.

The PN reminded how this delay is negatively affecting both students and lecturers. While lecturers continue on with Union directives due to the seemingly stagnant negotiations, "thousands of students in MCAST are paying the price with their examinations and marks."

"Robert Abela, as always, shirks his responsibilities, pointing them at others," the Opposition party wrote. The PN's Schembri said that this is evident in the sacking of Prof. Calleja as MCAST Principal, with just two weeks left in the academic year.

"This is a desperate attempt by a Government that cannot solve the problems it has created itself and instead, always tries to pin the blame on others," PN concluded.

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