The long-running dispute involving the UPE and the Ministry of Education has taken another turn.The UPE has formally communicated to all Education Ministry directors, managers, officials and school management that legal action would follow if work place abuse prohibited under Maltese law would be found to have taken place.
Such abusive practices include:
• Questioning an educator’s membership of the UPE;
• Exerting pressure on an educator not to join the UPE or to leave the UPE;
• Questioning or demanding explanations from an educator following UPE directives;
• Stating that the UPE does not have the right to issue directives;
• Stating that UPE members cannot follow directives unless they are issued personally to them;
• Harassing or otherwise intimidating an educator for joining the UPE or following its directives;
• Resorting to any form of retaliatory action against an educator for joining the UPE or following its directives.
The UPE takes intimidation of its members seriously and is determined to stamp out these shameful abuses within the state education sector once and for all. The Union has issued such a communication in order to guarantee educators’ fundamental right to freedom of association, their right to strike and to follow industrial directives issued by a registered trade union in contemplation of or in furtherance of a trade dispute.
The work-place abuses listed above are contrary to the law of the land and consequently expose a person who has committed any of these actions to personal liability.
The UPE is prepared to take the following legal action against any Ministry official or member of school management:
- In both their official and personal capacity for all civil damages sustained by the Union and its members
- By means of precautionary and executive warrants in order to safeguard the Union’s and its members’ claims
- By pressing criminal charges insofar as such an action/s constitute/s an offence/s under Maltese law
We advise members of the School Management Team (SMT) who have yet to receive a copy of the UPE communication to request it from their superiors without delay.