Following maintenance issues related to new laptops, the MUT wrote to the Ministry for Education and Employment to state that it is unacceptable that the Ministry did not continue to build on the good practices which were developed throughout the years since the first laptops were provided. The Union referred to insurance, which is now not being provided for the new laptops recently distributed. The Union stated that this has several implications on educators who, despite taking all measures to ensure that the said laptops are not damaged, may still encounter such damages caused by several factors including its continuous use during lessons and lesson preparation, the portability element, and possible accidental damage caused by students in class.
The MUT stated that it will not accept the direction of the Ministry which, in agreement with the same contractor, is sending bills to educators and is requesting them to carry such expenses. This is unacceptable unless it is proved without reasonable doubt that such damages were done deliberately by the educator or there was gross negligence. Furthermore, the procedure currently being adopted does not provide for educators to give his/her version of facts but the Ministry is relying solely on the report of the technician engaged by the contractor who supplied the laptop. The MUT also noted that the current situation may have consequences on other agreements in place or which are due to be implemented including the introduction of tablets.
In view of this, the Union is directing all members to refrain from paying any bills for damages to laptops and to forward such bills to the Ministry.