Court upholds Steward Health Care prohibitory injunction against MUMN

The Court has upheld a warrant of prohibitory injunction requested by Steward Health Care Malta against the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN). This refers to an industrial action ordered by MUMN over the release of Gozitan nurses working in Malta to be deployed to the Gozo General Hospital.

The decree was issued by Judge Toni Abela. Steward Malta had filed the warrant of prohibitory injunction on 14th June 2020, which was provisionally upheld on that same day, in relation to the industrial action ordered by the MUMN.

In a statement, Steward Malta said that it welcomes the decree as it believes that the decision ensures that the health services in Gozo remain unaffected. Moreover, it added, the decision is in the best interests of its patients and the Gozitan community that it serves.

Steward Malta continued to convey that it was evident that the authorization of the Health Ministry was necessary in order for Gozitan nurses to be released to Gozo. Moreover, the decree stated that the transfer of the Gozitan nurses did not depend on Steward Malta.

According to Steward Malta, the Court noted that the movement of nurses “depends exclusively on the Health Ministry and this could only be done on 25 June 2020”, being two weeks after the notice of the industrial action issued by the union.

“The scenario now has changed completely “ – MUMN

In its response to the decree, the union stated that it is clear that the Courts upheld the mandatory injunction of Steward Health due to the fact that the transfer of nurses from Malta to Gozo falls under the responsibility of the Ministry Of Health and does not fall under the remit of Steward Health care.

According to MUMN, when the mandatory injunction was issued, the transfer process was not yet completed, hence, why the mandatory injunction was upheld. However, it added that the scenario now has completely changed since as from 1st July 2020, ten Gozitan nurses were transferred to GGH but Steward Health Care retained the foreign nurses in GGH to this very day.

MUMN will, therefore, keep on insisting and fighting that there should never be any foreign nurses working in Gozo whilst there are still Gozitan nurses working in Malta. MUMN would be requesting an urgent meeting this week to resolve this issue. If such foreign nurses are retained in GGH, MUMN will not hesitate to re-issue directives on this regard once again, it concluded.