UHM Voice of the Workers has warned that in the absence of adequate proposals addressing the needs of the University of Malta employees, it will forge ahead with the industrial action and possibly escalate it further.

This warning was sounded in the wake of the counter-proposals presented by the University management and the Ministry of Education, which were deemed insufficient and short of the workers’ expectations. Voice of the Workers Weekly has learnt that the manner in which their demands are being handled by their employer is fuelling a sense of frustration among employees. The collective agreement expired at the end of 2021.

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The UHM is stressing any good will to find a solution must be translated to adequate proposals rather than offer which are only intended to quell the workers’ discontent.

The collective agreement covers over 900 employees in different degrees. Unfortunately, it seems that both the University management and the Education Ministry placed the issue on the back burner for months and it was only after a week of industrial action that things started to move.

Affected workers hail from administrative, technical and industrial sectors. The directives came into force on 5th January following an industrial dispute registered on 27th November last year.

UHM’s industrial action is being supported by the student branch of the Graffitti Movement and the Association of Academic Staff at the University (UMASA).

In a statement the Graffitti Movement said that criticism should be directed at the University and the Ministry of Education for the delay in rounding up the collective agreement. Such procrastination is negatively impacting the workers as well as students. The Movement pointed out that in the current circumstances characterised by a soaring cost of living the issue should be addressed urgently.

UHM is has declared it is open for negotiations as long as there is genuine will on the other side to find a solution.

The union is calling on both to the University management and the Education Ministry to give the importance due to the workers of this tertiary institution which is crucial for the development of young people’s skills and the workforce in general.