The Union of Professional Educators (UPE) is not happy with the outdated school protocols that Public Heath authorities, especially Prof. Charmaine Gauci, have kept in place to deal with the current high numbers of Covid-19 and quarantine cases. The Union has pointed out several times that updated protocols need to be implemented to reduce the possibility of school closures, but this has fallen on deaf ears. For this reason, the UPE feels obliged to safeguard its members and the wider educational sector by using its industrial strength and issuing directives to its members.
The rationale behind the Union’s actions is very simple. We aim to protect all educators and students in the classroom setting. We want to ensure the best possible protection against contracting Covid-19 and its variants; we want to reduce the risk of quarantine in order to maintain schools operational with face-to-face lessons. If the UPE does not take positive action, we will soon enough end up in a situation where many educators are in quarantine and remote learning is the norm as a result of staff shortages.
UPE members in State and Church Schools are being instructed to follow these directives;
- Members of the UPE are not to do online replacements.
- Members of the UPE are not to add members of the SMT on their respective online platforms, such as MS Teams, etc.
- Members of the UPE are not to accept any delegated work which should be carried out by the SMT.
- LSE relievers and KGE relievers who are members of the UPE are to refuse to take on more than one replacement per week, therefore one is to stay for a whole week in the same class.
- KGEs who are members of the UPE are to refrain from carrying out lessons if students do not wear a face mask in class. Students with a disability are exempted as per Public Health protocol.
The below directive has also been extended to Church Schools
- LSE’s who are members of the UPE are not to accept any replacement lessons but are to remain in their class assisting other students as per job description.
We also would like to remind our members to visit the ‘Directives‘ tab on our website www.upe.mt to adhere to other active directives that help protect members from contracting Covid-19 and its variants as well as reducing the risk of quarantine.
The Union directs its members to ”work smart” in the classroom and instructs its members to follow these guidelines:
- Classwork and homework are not to be taken home for correction but all tasks to be done as a class correction.
- Creative writing and other written tasks are to switch to an online format, that is, submitted via email by the student to the teacher.
- LSEs are to refrain from using personal resources but are to request that resources are to be sent by parents and are to be kept at school.
- LSEs are to request SMT to provide disposable medical gloves to be used in class while working in close contact with students.
Please note: The above directives and guidelines have been extended to cover Church Schools.
Members of the Union working in an Independent school and who wish to have the above (and other) protection are to contact us individually on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on +356 2122 1252/6/8 or 99946582.