The Education Section of the General Workers’ Union (GWU) is not a registered trade union. Fact. Nonetheless, it is allegedly trying to sway educators by misinforming them and the general public. Fact.
In an article published on Inews on 29 August (L-edukaturi tas-snin bikrin m’humiex stmati u mħallsa biżżejjed), the so-called Education Section of the GWU stated that it wanted to combat the discrepancy in salary among educators.
For clarity’s sake, here is another fact. Salaries within the educational sector are regulated by the Public Service Agreement signed by many unions, including the GWU. Salaries are pegged to qualifications. If there is a discrepancy in salary, one cannot blame the government. The culpability lies rather with the poor negotiating skills of the union in question. For the record, that union was the MUT. Much to the dismay of many educators, the MUT signed the 2017 agreement. So it is disingenuous of the GWU’s Education Section to raise the spectre of salary discrepancies when its parent body approved it in the first place.
Early Years Educators have been joining the UPE since its inception because they are aware that this union has their best interests at heart. Here are some examples to illustrate our commitment: the union has defended several of its members; it has taken a stand over students in class wearing a face mask during the pandemic; it has ensured that Early Years Educators are compensated for curriculum time, and it has made sure that management does not abuse the goodwill of these Educators by not providing the required resources.
The UPE is working tirelessly for the sector. It has done its utmost to make it a fact that its members are truly represented by a competent union, a union that knows well the issues encountered in class daily. Our mission is and will always be to improve working conditions. When the next collective agreement is due for re-negotiating, we promise that our members’ qualifications and salaries will be one of our priorities at the negotiating table.
Should any union member have any further queries on this issue or any other, please contact us on 21221252/6/8, or via email at email@example.com.