Various trade unions showed support for EI affiliate the Malta Union of Teachers' (MUT) directive for a one-hour strike in state schools today.
The MUT’s action was prompted by a recent spate of physical assaults on teachers from parents and students in several schools across the country. The union insists the Ministry of Education is not taking the necessary steps to safeguard the security of teachers. The General Workers' Union (GWU) urged all educators to follow the MUT directive and participate in the strike. The Union said that following its analysis of the alarming situation in state schools, it not only declared its position in favour of the MUT action, but has also encouraged all of its members to strike. The GWU directive applied to all Kindergarten Assistants, Facilitators, Instructors and Teachers as an act of solidarity with all those educators who have suffered any act of violence, especially those members of the GWU. The Confederation of Malta Trade Unions (CMTU) also backed the MUT directive and expressed its concern at a statement by the Education Ministry which said that on Thursday, schools will operate as usual. The Confederation said that the right of employees to follow any directive issued by a Trade Union is a fundamental right which is respected in all democratic countries, not least those members of the European Union. The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses also declared its position in favour of the MUT directive and called on the competent authorities to take all necessary measures so as to discourage any form of aggression against employees.