Court denies request to stop teachers’ unions from ordering industrial actions

The Court has denied a warrant of prohibitory injunction requested by the Education Ministry against the MUT and UPE to stop the unions from taking industrial action.

It all started when some peripatetic teachers were told to carry out teaching duties as teachers of primary.

The MUT had said it was not informed about this and stated there were 150 primary classes without teachers. The Ministry had countered that this was not correct, and through the engagement of new teachers as well as some peripatetic teachers every class would have its own teacher.

The MUT had stated it had been asking the Ministry since summer for information about what would happen in the new scholastic year, even because of covid-linked protocols, but insisted that the union had been kept in the dark. In a reaction, Education Minister Justyne Caruana had stated it was not true that the MUT had not been informed.

The Court, Mr Justice Neville Camilleri presiding, decided not to accede to the Ministry’s request for a prohibitory warrant.

The MUT said in a statement that the Court had recognised the MUT’s right to order directives, which right the Education Ministry had tried to take away. It reiterated that no one, including the Ministry,  would muzzle the MUT and educators. It further stated it would continue following the situation regarding cases of transfers in primary and will order industrial actions where necessary. It concluded that the issued directives will remain in force.

The UPE also welcomed the Court’s decision and said that in the coming hours it will be informing its members about what actions it will take.