Prime Minister prefers postponing carnival holidays, unions shoot down idea

Prime Minister Robert Abela says he would like to see carnival holidays postponed to another date but the Malta Union of Teachers and the Union of Professional Educators shoot down the proposal

Robert Abela says that if it were up to him alone, the school carnival holidays should be postponed to another date
Robert Abela says that if it were up to him alone, the school carnival holidays should be postponed to another date

Prime Minister Robert Abela has floated the idea of postponing the upcoming carnival holidays to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep children in school.

But his "personal wish" was immediately shot down by the Malta Union of Teachers that insisted the school calendar was a matter decided in the collective agreement.

Abela was answering questions from journalists after a press conference on Wednesday during which new restrictions for the carnival period were announced to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“If it was up to me alone, that is what I would like to see happen... it is my wish,” Abela said when asked whether the government was considering whether to cancel the carnival school holidays.

He said talks were underway between the Education Ministry and stakeholders. Abela said the holidays would not be lost, but postponed to another date.

However, reacting to the Prime Minister's comments, the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) said it “categorically rejected” the idea and was not ready to discuss the issue as the school calendar was something agreed upon in their collective agreement.  

The Union of Professional Educators also said they opposed the idea of postponing the carnival holidays. 

"The UPE is now questioning what was agreed, a few weeks ago between the MUT and the government after the educators' strike. The government has failed time and time again to deliver on its promises, such as, the publication of COVID-19 cases within schools," the union said.

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