The UPE has officially issued a Trade Dispute against the Ministry of Education after union members with legitimate directives have had their personal data shared with third parties without the consent of the Union and its members. The Ministry has resorted to retaliatory measures on our members who have followed legitimate directives. These teachers were instructed by the UPE to continue to teach and exercise their responsibilities as peripatetic or specialised teachers working within the Ministry of Education and not to take what the Ministry calls a “Covid Class”.
During weeks of negotiating individual members’ issues directly with the Education Minister, several teachers sent via email personal data to the Union in strict confidence. An agreement was in place with Minister Caruana and those copied in that the contents of those emails were to be used ONLY for internal purposes and not to be sent to third parties.
Much to our dismay, our members were contacted by HR early Tuesday afternoon and later by third parties requesting them to attend an urgent meeting on Thursday 9 December. Such under-handed manoeuvres are totally unacceptable. They are a clear attempt to undermine the Union’s credibility. They show the lengths the Ministry is currently prepared to go to brazenly harass and intimidate union members.
For this reason, the Union had no option but to register a dispute on the basis of:
- harassment in the place work-place
- violation of the code of ethics
- breach of Chapter 586 of the Data Protection Act
The Union is determined to take all the necessary measures in line with Maltese law to safeguard its interests and those of its members as well as to uphold the principles of justice and workers’ rights.