A heated exchange took place yesterday in the foyer of the Ministry of Education between Dr Frank Fabri and Mr Graham Sansone.
Following the Ministry of Education’s total disregard for the legitimacy and legality of the union’s directives, peripatetic teachers covered by the directive to remain in their assigned schools were instructed to go to the Ministry on Thursday afternoon at 12.30 pm to discuss further their “services at school”.
These members contacted the UPE, which proceeded to hold an urgent virtual meeting late Wednesday afternoon. Members were informed that although the Union had not been formally notified by the Ministry, it would be present on the day to safeguard their interests.
Mr Sansone, UPE Executive Head, accompanied members Thursday afternoon to the Ministry to give the full backing of the Union. Dr Fabri appeared to be taken aback to see the UPE executive in the foyer of the Ministry building and proceeded to tell him that he would like to talk to the teachers without a union representative. The Union insisted that it should be present during the entire meeting to protect its members’ interest. Since Dr Fabri did not accept the principle of union representation, and, by extension, protection, and given his intransigence, UPE members were instructed to leave the building immediately.
The Union is appalled by the gung-ho attitude adopted by the Permanent Secretary and his blatant and deliberate disregard for union directives, which, as Dr Fabri well knows, have been proven in a court of law to be legitimate. Dr Fabri’s confrontational position has resulted in a rapid and needless deterioration in the relationship between the Ministry and the Union.
The Union has now called on the Education Minister to intervene as soon as possible before matters worsen further and irreparable damage is done to the hitherto good relations.