MUT suspends directives temporarily after strike success

Malta Union of Teachers suspends directives with effect from Wednesday to continue discussions with Education Ministry

MUT president Marco Bonnici
MUT president Marco Bonnici

The Malta Union of Teachers will temporarily suspend directives in force with effect from next Wednesday after a one-day strike on Monday that saw 97% of educators stay home.

After the strike, union officials were called for an informal meeting to discuss the sectoral agreement.

After the union and education ministry identified priority areas, the two sides agreed to a scheduled list of meetings to continue negotiations.

In light of this, the union decided to suspend all active directives temporarily starting from next Wednesday, in order to enable further discussions and solutions to the dispute.

Union officials will attend the new round of discussions this week. The union said it would reinstate industrial action if discussions fall through again.

The union will also meet members on Tuesday afternoon to provide updates about the situation.

Education Minister Clifton Grima told MaltaToday he welcomed the union's decision to suspend industrial action and looked forward to see children return back to school, receive a full education experience and have communication with parents restored.

In his first reaction, Grima said government was committed to continue talks with the MUT, adding that the financial package put forward was "substantial and sustainable".

Earlier on Monday, the union said the strike action in State and church schools was an overwhelming success.

The effect of the strike was immediately visible during school opening times since school entrances were seen empty and without the presence of educators and students.

The union ordered the single-day strike after talks on a new collective agreement for educators fell through.

The union has been in talks with the government since the last collective agreement expired last December. This included a number of discussions on the text of the agreement, as well as the financial package.

Discussions were moving well, until the government proposed two financial packages, which the MUT rejected immediately.