Watch: All schools to re-open on Monday

Updated 10:12 AM

UPE requests a printed copy of afreement

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

“Endorsement and agreement with the decisions taken will only be granted following meticulous revision by the union of the printed version of the agreement made, and will subsequently maintain utmost vigilance on its content and implementation” declared the Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers. 

The union in a reaction said that it has taken note of the agreement made between the MUT the government. UPE – Voice of the Workers said that it reserves the right to resort to Industrial Action should the terms and conditions agreed upon be breached at any point in time

Earlier this evening, MUT had declared that the action taken in the past two days was essential so that schools could re-open Monday. The union reaffirmed what was said earlier today by the health authorities that the past days were the incubation period for the festive season.

The Government and Malta Union of Teachers earlier announced that schools will re-open on Monday. Teachers will return to work following the industrial action of the past two days.

The government was stubborn not to switch to online learning read the union’s statement. MUT said that they always followed the health authority’s advice while protecting their members’ interests.

This was announced following a stakeholders meeting earlier today. The Prime Minister together with the Minister of Education met with the permanent secretary, MUT, the Secretariat for Catholic Education, the Association of Independent Schools.

During the meeting Prof. Charmaine Gauci provided an update on the situation. Dr Vincent Marmara was also roped in to provide statistical background.

  • It was concluded that the schools will re-open on Monday 11 January. All parties agreed that:
  • Contact tracing procedures and Covid-19 protocols will be enforced
  • The health certificate system will be revised
  • School staff to be included in priority list for anti-Covid jabbing
  • All parties will receive a weekly update on the situation in schools in relation to the pandemic

All schools will re-open on Monday with the same protocols that were in place prior to the Christmas break.

Shortly after, the Malta Union of Teachers called a meeting for all its members to give them an update about the situation. The meeting is expected to start at 5 pm. 

For the second day, teachers are following the instructions given by their unions, MUT and UPE to strike and therefore not attend to school due to COVID-19 health concerns.

Yesterday evening, the meeting held between the Malta Union of Teachers, MUT, Prime Minister Robert Abela and Education Minister Justyne Caruana was inconclusive, and discussions continued this morning.

Unions and Government have a shared responsibility – EMA

“Under these circumstances, both Government and the Union have a shared responsibility to ensure an outcome that meets the interests of students, teachers, parents and their workplaces” said the Malta Employers Association in a reaction to the current situation.

The EMA said that the current impasse is fruit of lack of dialogue between the parties which should have planned in advance for an expected surge in COVID cases following the festive season, rather than throwing such matters on the table just before schools were scheduled to open.

The Association appealed to the Government and the MUT to seek an immediate resolution to the current dispute which is depriving children of education and is also creating hardships for companies and parents who had to reschedule their work commitments without notice.

MUT again claims Ministry ignored advice given by Health Authorities

The Malta Union of Teachers, MUT, again confirmed that Health Authorities had adviced the Ministry for Education to not reopen schools on Thursday. In a post on Facebook MUT said that earlier this week the Ministry had denied this but has now been confirmed during the meeting MUT had at Castille on Thursday evening.

MUT said that during that same meeting it was confirmed that a high ranking health official informed the Ministry about the health authority’s position on the re-opening of schools. This was confirmed in the presence of Church School and Independent representatives who were also present for this meeting.

Matul il-laqgħa li saret ilbiereħ ġiet ikkonfermata li teżisti komunikazzjoni, mibgħuta minn uffiċjal għoli fl-awtorità…

Posted by Malta Union of Teachers on Friday, January 8, 2021

MUT, Church School and Independent representatives asked for Dr Vincent Marmarà, as an expert in the field, to be present for the meeting and to provide an objective analysis of the pandemic as authorities explain the situation.

On Wednesday, during a press conference at the Health Ministry, Prof. Gauci was evasive in her reply when asked to confirm if health authorities advised the Ministry for Education to keep the schools closed. This was confirmed to by MUT.

Prof. Gauci said that health authorities have monitored the situation in schools and they had noticed an increase in the number of positive cases amongst children.

The two-day strike was announced on Wednesday evening as schools were to re-open on Thursday after the Christmas holidays. Yesterday, the Malta Union of Teachers declared that the strike was a massive success and called on the health and educational authorities to analyse the situation of the pandemic so that educators can return to physical learning with all measures included.

The Union of Professional Educators which is also supporting the MUT’s strike said that according to the information it had, the strike had a 96.5% success rate.

Għal darb'oħra n-numri jidhru b'saħħithom.Jum ieħor ta' suċċess.L-UPE hemm għalik.

Posted by Graham Sansone on Thursday, January 7, 2021

On Thursday, the Education Minister, Justyne Caruana said that teachers are expected to show up at work as schools are set to reopen after the Christmas break and that supervision would be provided for classes where the teachers do not turn up.

The sharp increase in coronavirus cases also prompted Church schools to re-open with online classes for the remainder of this week. The situation will be assessed before deciding whether to extend the measures until Wednesday 13 January.