MCAST denies vindictive dismissal of a lecturer from employment – states he showed a non-ethical and non-professional attitude

MCAST has denied a recent declaration of alleged vindictive action to terminate the services of Dr Peter Gatt.

In its right to reply, MCAST explained that Dr Gatt is an educator in the public sector who was detailed as a lecturer with MCAST.

It said that for many years Dr Gatt had breached work ethics and shown a non-professional attitude that was inconsistent with the community values of the College and the spirit of teaching in an academic environment.

It was explained that a number of reports had been received regarding the Engineering and Transport Institute and in June of 2020 the Governor’s Board began procedures to revoke his detailing to MCAST and for him to return to the public school sector. Therefore his termination was not as described by the media.

At the same time the Public Services Commission began taking disciplinary procedures against him for various violations of professional conduct.

The intervention of the Commission was on the basis that the person concerned has a status as an official in the Public Service and not as an MCAST employee. The Commission’s Board issued a report at the beginning of 2021 that confirmed and underlined the non-ethical conduct of Dr Gatt.

When the allegations of his breaches were independently investigated, the Board considered these to be of a serious nature that can lead to dismissal.

MCAST emphasised that the Disciplinary Board is an independent body and the reports submitted to the Public Service Commission  and approved by it described the non-professional and non-ethical conduct and included breaches of the Code of Ethics  that regulate Public Services and were actions of disrespect and were non-conformities  with the obligations and responsibilities of a lecturer.

The Commission also found Dr Gatt guilty of negligence in his duties and resulted in his work being below required standards. This resulted in his being suspended for a 15-day period and he was also given a Notice of Dismissal from the Public Service for a period of the forthcoming four years.

In his declaration to the media, Dr Gatt referred to MCAST as being an “oppressive institution” and insinuated that “corruption is rampant in the preparation of academic units” and that the programme of its Engineering and Transport Institute has lapsed and is outdated.

In its reaction MCAST said the facts show contrary and research carried out earlier this year and 84% of respondents said they cannot see themselves leaving MCAST and 87% recommended MCAST as a workplace. A total of 90% of graduated from the Engineering and Transport Institute are in employment and 92% said the course contents were related to their present-day work.

All institutes that comprise MCAST are prepared after an internal call for lecturers to design and promote learning under a rigourous and transparent procedure that covers every unit and is approved at Board Study level.

MCAST said it requests acknowledgement by experts for excellent and professional levels and does not tolerate negligence and disrespect of procedures. It said that through an assurance of quality and adequate resources the liberty of academic responsibility is assured. The College is continually obtaining excellent results as seen by reports from industry and other interested entities on a national as well as an international basis.