Mr. Marco Bonnici (MUT President), Ms. Elaine Germani (MUT Vice President) and Ms. Carmen Dimech (MUT General Secretary) have just held a meeting with the Hon. Robert Abela (Prime Minister), Hon. Chris Fearne (Deputy Prime Minister), Hon. Owen Bonnici (Minister for Education & Employment), Prof. Charmaine Gauci (Superintendent of Public Health) and Dr. Frank Fabri (Permanent Secretary) at Castille in Valletta.
They have agreed to the following:
– All educators working in schools together with student services grades and technician grades shall not report to school during the school closure period as announced by the Government earlier today. EOs may wish to make personal arrangements for telework;
– The closure period will not be considered as holidays and therefore there is no need for compensation in other periods in the future;
– All grades affected by the closure of the schools will get their full pay and allowances for the time period of the closure. All educators should put their minds at rest about this;
– A task force is being set up and shall start discussions tomorrow on curricular implications following the closure of schools. The task force will include representatives from MEDE, MUT, Church schools, and Independent Schools. They shall carry out discussions on VLE and online platform during the closure of schools;
– Fines shall be suspended in relation to student absenteeism between 25th February and 12th March;
– Childcare penalties shall be suspended for child absenteeism between 25th February and 12th March;
– Deduction of student stipends for absenteeism shall be suspended in postsecondary and tertiary institutions between 25th February and 12th March;
– All educators in State and Church schools shall be paid in full for their quarantine periods;
– During the closure period, MEDE will take the opportunity for sanitization, urgent maintenance and cleaning necessities in schools.
– The MUT shall enter discussions with respective Independent schools who enforced quarantine leave on educators beyond the parameters outlined by the health authorities and during closure of schools. The MUT is expecting full payment of respective salary and allowances.
The MUT have also requested the following measures:
– The MUT asked for measures to be put in place to assist employees who are parents for the care of their sons/daughters during the closure period;
– The MUT also asked for efforts to be made to make sure that mental health issues arising from this situation are addressed at the earliest to ensure well-being;
The MUT is hereby also recommending the following:
– The decision to close schools is a preventive measure and to be effective, everyone should avoid congregating and meeting. Everyone should stay home as much as possible;
– It is recommended that educators stop all activity involving groups of people;
The MUT is also postponing all meetings with groups of members until further notice and will continue to inform members and answer general queries accordingly.