The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of The Workers, is worried about the current situation in the Education Sector due to the excessive pressure and workload Teachers and other Educators are facing, due to various factors like new reforms and lack of Teachers that are presently being faced by Mathematics and Maltese Teachers.
UPE was the first to defend these Teachers in September 2018, and the Directorate’s reaction, to our concerns, was to take the Union to court. Consequently, UPE s arguments were proven right, because the Union managed to improve the situation for Teachers members of the Union.
The suffering that both Teachers and students are going through today is coming from the fact that during the negotiations of the last sectoral agreement, both the Education Directorate and the union who was meant to defend the interests of Educators, disregarded the then already dire situation of the Profession and schools, with reform stress and lack of adequate numbers of complementary staff. They even went on to sign a “historic agreement” which introduced new reforms that could not be put into practice effectively if the number of Professionals in schools remained as it is.
The current situation cannot improve if Teachers’ and other Educators ‘ working conditions, and teaching loads remain as they are. Youths are not encouraged to take up this Profession, while those already practising are leaving, and thus further shortages are envisaged. UPE has warned before that this situation is not only affecting Teachers of Maltese and Mathematics but the whole of the Education system.
UPE firmly believes that there are solutions and we are ready to sit down with the Minister of Education, Hon Evarist Bartolo, to solve the problems the Profession is presently facing or will face. Unions are there to both protect and empower their members but also to enhance the Profession they belong to, ideally through social dialogue.