MUT: L-għalliema bi strajk għal jumejnPosted by Newsbook.com.mt on Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
- MUT calls two-day strike for teachers in state schools
- UPE endorses MUT strike
- MUT claims Government tried to use school heads as strike-breakers
- Ministry calls strike illegitimate; teachers should report to work tomorrow
In a statement published at 8:58 pm online, the Malta Union of Teachers is claiming that the Ministry asked the school Principals to contact the head of the government schools to break the union’s order to strike.
Meanwhile, the Government calls the strike illegitimate. He insists teachers to report to work tomorrow.
Teachers in state schools to strike tomorrow
MUT President Marco Bonnici announced that teachers at state schools will be on strike tomorrow and Friday. This comes after Bonnici said that Prime Minister Robert Abela swept aside suggestions to switch classes to online for the coming two days as a preventive measure against Covid-19 spread. Giving details, Bonnici said that when the union made the offer to the Prime Minister, a few minutes earlier, Dr Abela had replied that it would mean that the teachers would not be paid for the two days. Bonnici said that for the teachers not to be paid, it made no sense for the online teaching offer to stand and the union called an immediate industrial dispute and strike action for at least Thursday and Friday was called. Bonnici said that with the numbers in escalation and the effect of the viral variant still to be assessed, the only sensible option is for the schools to remain closed.
The MUT president said that advice from health authorities have been ignored, adding that the rise in cases cannot be taken lightly.
Bonnici reiterated that the union is obliged to safeguard the health of the teachers and students. He confirmed the strike does not apply to Church schools and independent schools.
Church schools and independent schools announced earlier today that they will be switching online.
The union said that for now the strike will be for the coming to days. Updates will be provided in the coming days accordingly, declared Bonnici.
This press conference follows a meeting with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education and the Health Authorities to discuss the re-opening of state schools in view of the Covid-19 spread.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Opposition and the Partit Nazzjonalista expressed solidarity with the plight of the teachers. Bernard Grech in a Facebook post said that ministers may change but the arrogance remains the same.
UPE endorses strike
The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers fully said in a statement that it fully supports and endorses the strike action initiated by the MUT in relation to State schools. The union said that State school educators who are members of the UPE are also being asked to strike.
Newsbook.com.mt was contacted by teachers angered by the government stand. They said that the industrial action is all the government’s fault since he did not want to reach a compromise.
The industrial dispute will affect neither Church nor Independent schools since they will be switching to online learning for the coming two days.
ITS and MCAST will be delivering lessons online
The post-secondary educational institutions announced that the Institute for Tourism Studies and Malta College for Arts, Sciences and Technology will be delivering their classes online.
The Malta Union of Teachers announced on their Facebook page that they will be meeting the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education and the Health Authorities to discuss the re-opening of state schools.
Malta Union of Teachers said that the health authorities advised the Ministry for Education to keep the schools closed. However, the Ministry ignored the recommendations and tomorrow schools will open as planned.
MUT welcomed the initiative of Church schools and Independent schools that will be delivering classes online.
Clyde Puli PN member of parliament, in a reaction to the schools re-opening saga, said that the Ministry should take all the necessary measures to safeguard the health of children and educators.
He said that the Government should take into consideration today’s new record of new cases.
A spokesperson for the Ministry confirmed with Newsbook.com.mt that re-opening will go on as planned with the same measures adopted before Christmas. When asked if new measures will be adopted in view of the new Covid-19 variant, he explained that all precautions have been taken in accordance with the health authority guidelines.
The union said that they have been informed that the health authorities recommended the Ministry for Education to keep the schools closed to prevent Covid-19 spread during the coming days.
This information was confirmed from different sources. MUT noted that the Ministry seems to be ignoring the appeals.
MUT is appealing to the Government to follow the health authority advice. “If this is not followed, the union will not have any other way apart from giving instructions to its members later today.”
The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the workers, had also called upon the Ministry to resort, to a staggered entry as a measure to mitigate the potential spread of the virus following New Year’s Eve crowd gatherings.