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Teachers to vote for new union boss today

For the first time in 12 years, the president of Malta's oldest trade union will be decided by a vote among the 9,000 members today

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan
22 June 2017, 7:00am
Bitter rivals: Franklin Barbara and Marco Bonnici
Bitter rivals: Franklin Barbara and Marco Bonnici
For the first time in 12 years, the president of Malta's oldest trade union, which represents the teaching profession, will be decided by a vote among the 9,000 members today. 

However, the run-off between outgoing senior vice-president Marco Bonnici and general secretary Franklin Barbara has turned out to be an acrimonious affair with the election postponed by two months after the union's electoral board resigned en bloc as the two candidates accused each other of hijacking the electoral process. 

To ensure a fair process, the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) hired the services of professional auditors to restart the election process from scratch.

The election was called after Kevin Bonello, at the helm of the MUT since 2011, unexpectedly resigned. 

Barbara, who became a bit of an internet sensation after blitzing Facebook with badly-photoshopped images, ha accused Bonello and the outgoing administration of favouring Bonnici.

He also filed a judicial process in court to ensure that the electoral process be truly transparent and fair for all candidates. 

In turn, Bonnici accused Barbara of instructing board members to throw the Administrative Secretary of the Union out of a meeting “against every established procedure.” Barbara had refuted these claims as the relationship between the two candidates all but disintegrated. 

Both Bonnici and Barbara are promising to renegotiate the collective agreement and reform the union. 

Bonnici, 41, has promised to conclude negotiations on all collective agreements within six-months and improve wages and conditions for all teachers. He has also proposed the creation of a foundation which would focus exclusively on the educational aspect.

On his part, Barbara - a sociology and PSD teacher – has promised to make the teaching profession attractive again and empower teachers. 

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...