English language school teachers left unpaid – UPE

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Union of Professional Educators (UPE) is mulling over an industrial action after English language schools have left teachers unpaid.

The union said that several issues were raised by its members from various English language schools. It said that many have been left stranded with no pay for hours worked in March.

The TEFL industry has been one of the hardest hit since the coronavirus outbreak. Many teachers working in the industry are on a zero-hour contracts. Newsbook.com.mt had revealed that within days that the first case was recorded in Malta over 4,000 study trips were cancelled after Italy and France banned educational trips abroad.

The union said that its members have approached their respective schools and asked to have the situation rectified as soon as possible. The employees were allegedly told that the schools had no funds to cover their wages and that the money owned could not be forwarded at this point in time.

The English language school teachers have been left in the dark as to when they would receive their wages.

The union said that these teachers were told that they were to continue working online with no guarantee of income happening any time soon. It added that schools have threatened teachers with not forwarding their application for government grants for processing.

“They are allowing their teachers, many of whom live hand to mouth, to face a crisis of unprecedented proportions with nothing in hand to guarantee their survival, and even implying that they have the right to deny these teachers the grants which are rightfully theirs unless they comply to bullying tactics which will in no way guarantee their well-being or livelihood,” UPE said.

The union said that the schools were in breach of the Employment and Industrial Relations Act and did not exclude the possibility of the DIER initiating criminal proceedings against them.

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