MUT with­draws strike ac­tion af­ter meet­ing with Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

The Malta Union of Teach­ers yes­ter­day with­drew its planned strike ac­tion fol­low­ing a meet­ing with the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry yes­ter­day morn­ing.

In a state­ment, the Union said that af­ter a meet­ing of its gen­eral coun­cil and a meet­ing with the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry it had de­cided to with­draw the strike ac­tion that was planned to af­fect all schools across the is­land to­mor­row.

The strike had been called af­ter the Union ob­jected to amend­ments to the Ed­u­ca­tion Act which, it said, would re­move teach­ers’ pro­fes­sional sta­tus.

The ac­tion was with­drawn, the MUT said, af­ter an agree­ment that the new clauses re­lated to war­rants and li­cences be­ing tied with train­ing and pro­fi­ciency be re­moved. The Union also in­sisted that it would not ac­cept a sit­u­a­tion in which they are ac­cused of mis­in­ter­pret­ing such clauses.

The govern­ment with­drew the con­tro­ver­sial amend­ments on Fri­day evening.

A prin­ci­pal agree­ment for amend­ments in clauses re­gard­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions, home-school­ing, school li­cences, board struc­tures, in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing and se­cu­rity had also been reached, the Union said. These were is­sues that the MUT had raised ear­lier in the week, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

In the light of this agree­ment, the MUT with­drew its in­dus­trial ac­tion, sus­pend­ing the strike ac­tion that had been called for to­mor­row, but re­served the right to take sim­i­lar ac­tion if changes to the Ed­u­ca­tion Act, or any other Act, were tabled with­out con­sul­ta­tion with the union.

Govern­ment: ‘Ev­ery­body has won’

In a short state­ment, the govern­ment said that the sus­pen­sion of the planned strike was a sit­u­a­tion in which every­one had won. It said that work re­lated to the amend­ments dis­cussed be­tween the MUT and the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry would be­gin soon and that it was look­ing for­ward to turn­ing a new page and con­tin­u­ing to work for the bet­ter­ment of the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and for chil­dren, ed­u­ca­tors and par­ents across the coun­try.

To­mor­row will be a nor­mal school day, the govern­ment said.

Govern­ment was too hasty AD

In a state­ment ear­lier, Al­ter­nat­tiva Demokratika said that the govern­ment had been too hasty in pre­sent­ing the Ed­u­ca­tion Bills for dis­cus­sion in Par­lia­ment with the changes be­ing pro­posed. This is a shame, con­sid­er­ing that the draft Act had been the sub­ject of a con­sul­ta­tion process some months ago. It would have been wiser, it said, had the govern­ment en­gaged all those in­volved in an ef­fort to ob­tain wider en­dorse­ment and the best out of the process through­out.

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