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UPE Initiates Constitutional Case against the Ministry of Education, State Advocate, and Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER)

A Quest for Justice

The Union of Professional Educators (UPE) has filed a constitutional case today against the Ministry of Education, specifically the Director General of the Directorate for Educational Services, the state advocate, and the Director General of the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER).

UPE, which represents the majority of Learning Support Educators (LSEs) working in state schools, had their position officially affirmed during a court hearing by the DIER.

The Ministry of Education has raised concerns regarding the entitlement of LSEs to have their own agreement. Consequently, UPE was compelled to take the Ministry of Education to the Industrial Tribunal in order to address this matter.

Over the past four decades, workers have always been allowed to be represented by the union of their choice.

However, the DIER stopped the process of verification necessary for the UPE to represent the LSE’s. To add insult to injury the Industrial Tribunal, composed of government-appointed officials, deviated from the established practice and thus not allowed the completion of the verification process right after it had ascertained that the UPE had the majority of LSE’s as its members! This compelled the Union to resort to legal action in search of proper remedies in order to ascertain its constitutional and conventional rights.

Undeniably, UPE is prepared to employ all necessary legal means, both locally and at the European level, to safeguard the interests of its members. As the sole union with the mandate to negotiate the upcoming collective agreement for LSE’s, UPE stands as the Union capable of securing improved salaries and working conditions for LSEs as a whole, thanks to its majority representation in this sector.

The Union is being represented by Dr Jason Azzopardi and Dr Therese Comodini Cachia.

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