Saint Joseph is widely known as the earthly father of Jesus Christ. Joseph, a humble carpenter, had married the Blessed Virgin Mary and brought up the child Jesus, training him in the art of carpentry. Saint Joseph, a devoted and hardworking head of the Holy Family, remains a model for fathers and working individuals today.
It is crucial to reflect on Saint Joseph’s mission as a worker whose aim was to provide for his family. This reflection is especially important for hardworking individuals within the educational sector who dedicate themselves to raising tomorrow’s society. All professions, be they doctors, lawyers, architects, builders or salesmen, owe a debt to dedicated educators.
One questions whether today’s educators are being acknowledged and respected for their role in shaping tomorrow’s society, in the same way, that the Galileeans esteemed Saint Joseph’s work for the community.
Respect for educators has long been an issue that has failed to be addressed by both politicians and trade unions that once held a monopoly over the education sector. Lack of resources, weak salaries, and inadequate working conditions have tarnished the reputation of educators in general. In our opinion the MUT has failed to obtain the respect necessary for educators, leading to an increase in incidents within schools, such as sexual harassment, workplace accidents, and bullying. It also seems to have failed to understand the real needs of educators, leading many educators to leave the union and join the UPE.
In our opinion the MUT’s lack of foresight has allowed for a sorry state of affairs, leaving many educators feeling discouraged, exhausted, and overwhelmed within the classroom. One can also note that the lack of policies and standard operating procedures has allowed for questionable practices, leading to high-risk liability.
Educators seem to feel unprotected by the MUT, especially when faced with the lack of empathy towards ITS lectures whose jobs have been threatened with termination. The UPE has intervened on the matter to safeguard workers from abusive practices, recognizing that every worker deserves the union’s protection.
A constitutional case has been filed with the Maltese Constitutional Court to address a pressing concern. It has been observed that some unions are denying workers the protection they need by engaging in abusive practices. This case aims to put a stop to such practices by ensuring that workers have the freedom to join a union of their choice without facing any obstacles. As educators, we can all agree that it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the rights of workers are protected and their voices are heard. This case is a step towards achieving that goal.