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UPE Articles

UPE Issuing Additional Directives as Ministry of Education Fails to Address Staff Shortage 

The Union of Professional Educators (UPE) has issued a series of trade disputes related to various grievances. These grievances were followed by several directives, released in January, February and March 2024, to all categories of educators working in state schools, members of the UPE.

The Ministry of Education took the UPE to court in February 2024 by issuing a mandate of a prohibitory injunction. This mandate was successfully won by the UPE in another significant victory, giving the UPE the green light to continue issuing legal directives to all of its members, without the need for the Union to issue individual directives. This is thanks to the union’s professional legal team.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Education made no attempt to address or discuss the pending issues at hand.

These issues primarily concern the lack of adherence to public service policies, such as study leave, insufficient human resources including Learning Support Educators relievers. A contentious point is the assignment of LSEs, who are assisting other students instead of their own, rendering their prepared work obsolete.

Despite the government’s claims that the well-being of educators and students, particularly those with disabilities, is a priority, the union questions what concrete actions are being taken to resolve the aforementioned issues.

The shortage of human resources, particularly LSEs, not only affects the entire class but also places added pressure on Kindergarten Educators (KGEs) and teachers. When an LSE’s responsibility for shared students is removed from a class, it results in unsupervised students with a disability, adding additional burdens on the delivery of the curriculum and disrupts class dynamics.

To address these concerns, the union is issuing the following directives to its members, effective from Monday 8th April:

1. LSE members of the UPE working in year 11 (Previously known as Form 5) are to remain at the school they were initially assigned to at the beginning of the academic year. Since they will not have any students, they are to provide replacements within their school only.

2. LSEs, Teachers, and KGEs who are members of the UPE are instructed not to work on IEP reviews. This includes meetings and the typing and presentation of the final report.  

The union emphasizes that these directives are aimed at compelling ministry officials to engage in discussions with the UPE to resolve the outstanding issues that have yet to be addressed, issues that are of great concern to our union members.

To join the Union of Professional Educators today for support and guidance, visit www.upe.mt. For further assistance, contact us on +356 2122 1252 or 9994 6582.

Members who receive any undue pressure not to adhere with the directives are requested to contact the UPE.

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