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Teachers deceived over promised pay rise

​MUT agreement included increases already in force

kurt_sansone
Kurt Sansone
14 January 2018, 10:14am
Educators were surprised to learn new allowances structure would only lead to 11% and 12% pay increase over five year period
Educators were surprised to learn new allowances structure would only lead to 11% and 12% pay increase over five year period
Educators are fuming since most teaching grades will be getting less than half the promised pay increase supposedly agreed upon between their union and the government.

After being kept in the dark over the details of the sectoral agreement signed on 21 December, educators were surprised to learn that the new allowances structure would only lead to an increase of between 11% and 12% over the five-year period.

Billed as a historic agreement, details were revealed online by MaltaToday last Friday, leading to a barrage of disappointment in various online forums for teachers and learning support assistants.

Educators who spoke to this newspaper said they were deceived. They had been asked by their union to respond to an online consultation last December that asked them whether they agreed with the proposed increases.

The online consultation, seen by MaltaToday, had suggested that as a result of the new agreement educators would see their salary and allowances increase by 28% at the end of the five-year period.

However, it transpires that the numbers published in the sectoral agreement do not tally with the increases educators voted on.

“It is true that we will see better incomes but this is a far cry from what we were led to believe and to top it all, everyone now is under the impression that we received substantial increases,” an irate teacher told this newspaper.

It appears the union included in its calculations, adjustments to salaries that educators were going to benefit from just the same as part of the public service collective agreement concluded in April 2017.

Questions sent to the Education Ministry several days ago about the financial aspects of the sectoral agreement concluded with the MUT have remained unanswered.

The agreement increased the existing class allowance and introduced a new work resources allowance for all teaching grades. However, an exercise carried out by this newspaper shows that the new allowance structure represents a 12% increase over the 2017 pay packet for teachers at the lower end of scale 9. Learning support assistants and kindergarten assistants starting at scale 15 will get a similar increase by the end of the five years.

The increase would equate to 11% for learning support assistants and kindergarten assistants at the lower end of scale 12.

However, the increase is substantially higher in the upper grades with a teacher in scale 7 with 20 years’ experience receiving a 22% increase at the end of the five years.

Read more: This is how the new teachers' agreement will change allowances

Educators were going out on a one-day strike last November after talks on the sectoral agreement stalled. The industrial action was called off when it transpired the government was ready to meet the MUT’s demand for a 20% increase in income for educators.

It was never specified at the time that the union’s demands included increases already in force as a result of the public service collective agreement.

 

kurt_sansone
Kurt Sansone is Online Editor of www.maltatoday.com.mt. He was formerly deputy editor of ...