The UPE is to issue directives to its members after formally registering a trade dispute.
This comes as no surprise. Anyone who has followed this saga knows that many peripatetic, complementary and services teachers have not been given information on the school where they will teach and the grade they will be assigned to by the Ministry of Education with literally hours left before the start of the school year.
As was explained to Permanent Secretary Dr. Frank Fabri, these teachers are specialised in their subjects. They are not familiar with the methodology employed in the primary school mainstream classes/core subjects. That is why we have insisted that guidance and support are pre-requisites for any teacher who enters the mainstream.
It was also during the last online meeting with the Permanent Secretary that the number of peripatetic, complementary and services teachers required to fill in vacated classes in the primary school section was requested in relation to seniority. To date, we are still awaiting the data from the Permanent Secretary’s office. It is regrettable to note that apparently the UPE has once more been deliberately left in the dark.
We have repeatedly highlighted the fact that many LSEs, both Maltese and Gozitan, have not been advised of their deployment. This has brought about unnecessary hardship, especially for Gozitan LSEs working in Malta who will now find it impossible to book transport. Since the LSEs have been unable to inform their drivers of the school location, all vans have been taken.
The lack of information and cooperation given to the union concerning the above, the fact that the Ministry has requested the services of peripatetic, complementary and services teachers beyond the essential need, and the unwillingness to resolve promptly the deployment process of the above-mentioned grades have led to this declaration of a trade dispute.
The UPE will issue directives to its members as stipulated by employment law in due course.