News

UPE Registers Trade Dispute – Directives

The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers has been following the rise in cases of COVID-19 nationwide and has been following even more closely the increase in numbers amidst our student population. The numbers registered today are cause for alarm, and under the current circumstances with staff strained to meet the number of absences of educators who are either unwell or in quarantine, schools are not in a position to operate as would be required, and as our students deserve.  For this reason the union calls for immediate action to be taken by the government to safeguard the population and to place the well-being of the citizen at the forefront of any decisions taken.

The UPE is officially registering an industrial dispute to safeguard the health and safety of its members. The union reiterates that all the directives issued to date in relation to the COVID-19 crisis situation in schools are active and need to be upheld and enforced by union members, at all times. The union is also issuing other directives with the aim of reducing the possibility of additional unnecessary contact of its members with others in the educational sector. 

Below one can see the complete list of active directives for members of the UPE from the beginning of the pandemic.

20/02/2020Church School LSEs who are members of the UPE are to remain in the class, or cover the student, that the school had assigned them to at the beginning of the year, and they are not to leave that class to see to the needs of another classroom or student. 
26/02/2020Educators who are members of the UPE will not assign or correct any homework to sick students.
26/02/2020Educators who are members of the UPE will not attend any mass gatherings organised by the school such as, Cope sessions, SDPs, Mass or Assemblies.
26/02/2020Educators who are members of the UPE are to report students who exhibit flu-like symptoms and are to refrain from keeping them in class.
26/02/2020Educators who are members of the UPE should not accept any students who have been away or who have been sent home from school, in class, unless they are in possession of a valid medical certificate declaring them fit for school.
26/02/2020LSEs members of the UPE are not to accept the responsibility of supervising any child exhibiting flu-like symptoms while waiting to be picked up from school by parents or legal guardians.
26/02/2020Educators who are members of the UPE should be allowed to use surgical disposable gloves when handling students’ materials or technological devices.
28/02/2020Teachers, KGEs and LSEs who are members of the UPE are not to prepare a special program for the Open Day but are to continue working on their lessons as planned. 
28/02/2020Teachers, KGEs and LSEs who are members of the UPE are not to accept parents or guardians inside the class. 
09/03/2020Educators who are members of UPE are to refrain from working in places which are not sufficiently well-ventilated.
09/03/2020Educators who are members of UPE are to refrain from attending meetings which involve staying in enclosed and/or crowded spaces.
09/03/2020Educators who are members of UPE are not to participate in any Parents’ days, Parents’ evenings, Prize days, concerts or any other activities that involve mass gatherings.
09/03/2020Educators who are members of UPE are not to attend any meetings organised by the Ministry of Education or other entities.
06/05/2020Educators who are members of the UPE are to refrain from handing over their lesson plans or any teaching resources since these are their intellectual property.
04/06/2020Teachers and KGEs, who are members of the UPE, are to refrain from forwarding any information to the SMT in relation to students with a statement of needs, unless this is completed, in all its parts, with the LSEs working in direct contact with the students concerned. 
11/09/2020Educators, who are members of the UPE, who fall under the vulnerable category (reference is being made to the following link https://deputyprimeminister.gov.mt/en/health-promotion/covid-19/Documents/mitigation-conditions-and-guidances/Guidance_For_Vulnerable_Persons.pdf) are to remain at home and be available to work online. 
06/10/2020MCAST lecturers who are members of the UPE and who teach levels 1 to 4 are to refrain from giving face-to-face lectures (This is at the discretion of the lecturer). 
06/10/2020MCAST lecturers who are members of the UPE and who teach levels 1 to 4 are to refrain from teaching using the hybrid model (half and half model). 
07/10/2020Members of the UPE, who are KGEs, LSEs, teachers (including all relievers, peripatetic, complimentary and teachers who offered other services) and HODs are to refrain from reporting for work in other schools and to continue to report for work at their home school.
08/10/2020Peripatetic teachers, complementary teachers and teachers who offered other services, who have been deployed in the primary sector, and who are members of the UPE are not to forward any schemes of work to their SMT until further notice.
08/10/2020Peripatetic teachers, complementary teachers and teachers who offered other services, who have been deployed in the primary sector, and who are members of the UPE are not to accept visits from Education Officers, Quality Assurance Officers,  Supervisors or other superiors as long as they are deployed to take up a class-teacher  or replacement role.
09/10/2020LSEs, LSE relievers, KGEs, KGE relievers, teachers, peripatetic teachers, complementary teachers, and teachers offering other services, who are members of the UPE, and who are being asked to take up replacements in the primary sector, are to refuse to take on more than one replacement per day.
15/10/2020Members of the UPE working in Middle and Secondary schools are not to accept any changes to their existing time-table or work-schedule 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to collect money on behalf of the school. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to use their own devices (including laptops, computers, mobiles, cameras or other equipment) for work purposes. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to accept any delegated work which should be carried out by the SMT. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to check students’ bags or possessions. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to attend any meetings, appointments, case conferences etc. held outside school. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to stay with students who have a fever/ill when sent to the isolation room. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to collect students’ work if they have reported having a fever or who have been reported sick. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to be obliged to take temperatures and check on masks at entry points. 
15/10/2020Members of the UPE are not to engage in hybrid teaching (ie: live lessons while students are also physically present). 
15/10/2020LSEs who are members of UPE are not to conduct observations of students who are at home since they can’t physically observe the abilities of the student. 
15/10/2020LSEs who are members of the UPE are not to take part in IEPs and MAPs of students who are not at school since they can’t physically observe the abilities of the student. 
15/10/2020LSEs who are members of the UPE are to use last year’s IEP and MAP reports, for those students who are not physically attending this scholastic year. 
15/10/2020Peripatetic teachers who are functioning as class teachers and who are members of the UPE are to refrain from submitting assessments related to LOFs.
20/10/2020Members of the UPE who are working in Kindergarten are to stop giving lessons and should report to the SMT if students above the age of 3 are not wearing a mask or visor (with the exclusion of students with sensory issues). 
20/10/2020Members of the UPE who are working in the Primary sector are not to accept any changes to their existing time-table or work-schedule.
20/10/2020Members of the UPE are to work to rule and are not to do any voluntary or extra work within the school.
20/10/2020LSE’s who are members of the UPE are not to accept any replacement lessons but are to remain in their class assisting other students as per job description. 
20/10/2020LSE’s who are members of the UPE and who are currently working as relievers within Kindergarten classes which have the stipulated amount of students as per collective agreement 16.2 ( 12 learners in Kinder 1; 14 learners in Kinder 2) are to remain in class as a class LSE. 
20/10/2020Members of the UPE are to refrain from submitting assessments related to LOFs.
21/10/2020Educators who are members of the UPE such as peripatetic/complementary/nurture and all other teachers giving services in primary are not to start any services related to their specialisation and are to remain at their assigned schools. 
21/10/2020Educators who are members of the UPE such as peripatetic/complementary/nurture and all other teachers giving services in primary are to report at their home school as per directive issued on the 7th of October 2020
21/10/2020LSE Nurture, Members of the UPE are not to do any replacements. 
30/10/2020NG/LSZ educators who are members of the UPE are not to replace any sick or absent educators. 
30/10/2020NG/LSZ educators who are members of the UPE are not to accept any children from different bubbles. 
30/10/2020NG/LSZ educators who are members of the UPE are not to provide their service if cleaning is not done between lessons when different bubbles are occupying the area. This means that after every session which consists of 1 bubble, the class has to be disinfected.
23/11/2020MCAST lecturers who are members of the UPE and who teach levels 1 to 3 are to refrain from giving face-to-face lectures (This is at the discretion of the lecturer). 
23/11/2020MCAST lecturers who are members of the UPE and who teach levels 1 to 3 are to refrain from teaching using the hybrid model (half and half model). 

In addition to the above directives currently in in force, the UPE is issuing the following directive for the time being.

  • Educators who are members of the UPE are not to engage in face-to-face communication with members of the SMT. All communication between educators who are members of the UPE and their SMT is to be held virtually.

The UPE does not exclude taking significant additional action if the government does not take immediate and concrete action on the matter.