The Union of Professional Educators has been contacted by our Gozitan members who, on a daily basis, have to commute from Gozo to Malta, and back, to fulfil their duties as educators. The commute these educators are having to face, is not only not being facilitated on their way back home from school, but it is being strewn with delays which often see them getting home after 16:00.
These educators informed the union that in the morning no restriction on the number of passengers is made on the ferry coming to Malta at 06:30, 06:45 or 07:00. This allows for educators commuting from Gozo to Malta to get to their respective schools in time for their lessons. So, the government has found a good way of ensuring that educators are at the workplace with no delays in place, but has not reserved the same amount of care to ensure their timely return home.
The union was informed that educators arriving at Cirkewwa at 14:50, hoping to get on the 15:00 ferry have been regularly seeing their hopes dashed before their eyes when foot passengers are left stranded ashore because a set number of passengers on board is reached. The next boat would be at 15:15, getting to Gozo 20 to 25 minutes later with these educators still having the last stage of their commute home, to face.
It seems that today the situation was even more arduous and frustrating. The funeral of an ex-member of parliament meant that the 15:15 ferry reached its quota faster, with vehicles being given priority over the passengers on foot. Also, for some reason, this 15:15 ferry set off late at 15:25, leaving these educators waiting even longer to finally get on the next boat which was also delayed.
The union would expect the government to show more care towards the educators travelling to Malta from our sister island. It is no secret that their commute is not one of the easiest, and yet they brave the situation every single day, waking up at the crack of dawn, rain or shine, leaving home to get to school and give it their all. The least the government could do is to prioritize these Gozitan foot passengers who would have had a full day of work and who, at that time, are asking for nothing more than to get home at a decent hour, without delays.