Current Affairs
What did former MUT President John Bencini say about the judicial protest against MUT and UPE?

Lawyer Andre’ Borg presented a judicial protest in Court, on behalf of a number of parents, educators and workers, due to what he described as teachers unions’ militarism to the detriment of students, parents, educators and the public. In his judicial protest, Dr Borg said that the delay in the opening of schools, following pressure by MUT and UPE, led thousands of parents to disrupt their engagements. He is requesting that the two unions act with more responsibility and in the public interest.

Speaking to TVM, Dr Borg said that as a parent he feels that students should not be used in the rivalry between two teachers’ unions.

“This was a personal initiative, a private one without any interests; but I am delivering the message of a great number of parents, educators and students because we feel that the unions rivalry led to certain issues that are not in the interest of students. I call on trade unions to sit down and address issues, but do not use the national platform to stop all schools in Malta and Gozo”.

Reacting to the judicial protest, MUT said that every decision the union made was to protect the health and safety of students, teachers and families. The union argued in a statement that it carried out its duty to safeguard everyone with the social dialogue it created with authorities and schools.

Television Malta spoke on this development with Mr John Bencini, who for a long time served as MUT President and recently as MCESD chairperson. Mr Bencini stated that rivalry between unions is a fact, however he is not aware that a similar protest was ever presented in the Courts.

“To my knowledge it never occurred in the 100-year MUT history and I also think neither from the Government side was there a similar issue”.

Asked about the lack of agreement between the Government and teachers’ unions on the eve of the new scholastic year opening, Mr Bencini said that common sense had prevailed because of the strong social dialogue in Malta and because the Government accepted many of the unions demands.

“I know that the two unions are happy because they fully accepted what they requested and saw them in writing. Now we have to see what happens. Schools will open a week after what the Government said, which is not a bible neither are the unions. It didn’t make a great difference. However, can we not send our children to school?”.

Mr Bencini reiterated that Malta did not need to prolong such time to open schools and stressed that children’s place is at schools.