Second judge withdraws from case filed by Education Ministry against unions

Judge Toni Abela is the second judge to recuse himself from hearing an injunction filed by the Education Ministry against unions because his wife plays an active part in one of the unions

Mr Justice Toni Abela
Mr Justice Toni Abela

Mr Justice Toni Abela has recused himself in the case filed by the Education Ministry to stop unions from taking industrial action in schools because of his wife's ties to one of the unions.

In a brief statement delivered this afternoon, Abela said his wife, although retired, still played an active part in the union. The case will now have to be reassigned to another judge.

He is the second judge to withdraw from hearing the injunction. Last week, Judge Robert Mangion had also recused himself for the same reason.

A prohibitory injunction was filed by the Education Ministry against the Malta Union of Teachers and the Union of Professional Educators on the eve of schools reopening after unions objected to the last-minute transfer of peripatetic teachers to classroom duties.

The application for the warrant, aimed at stopping industrial action by teachers was filed after the trade unions registered an industrial dispute.

Scores of peripatetic teachers were advised that they would be assigned to classrooms in State primary school just days before schools reopened on 29 September.