The Union of Professional Educators is, yet again, having to face a situation where the Ministry of Education is using delay tactics to hold the UPE back from performing basic trade union duties at the place of work.
In the judgment issued by the Ombudsman for Education early last week, it was clearly stated that ‘improper discrimination has been exercised with respect to the complainant union (UPE)’ by the Ministry of Education. This statement came from none other than the Chief Justice Emeritus, Vincent A. De Gaetano, who was also a Judge within the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Malta, and whose knowledgeable verdict should not be up for discussion.
Late last week, the UPE communicated with the Ministry of Education and advised them that the Union would be following the recommendations of the Ombudsman but, as expected, the Permanent Secretary lashed out and informed the union that it needed more time to ‘process the recommendations’.
The Union cannot help but wonder what Dr Fabri meant by ‘process the recommendations’. Should one be led to believe that the Ministry is, yet again, playing for time? Or is the concern of ‘upsetting the other union’ as stated within the report of the Ombudsman, still dictating its actions despite their being blatantly discriminatory and improper?
In a statement issued by Graham Sansone, the Executive Head of the UPE, the union is giving the Ministry, and Dr Fabri, no more than 24 hours before escalating matters further. The union reserves the right to take legal action within the coming hours, should procrastination to take action persist.