Government reaches out directly to educators with details of pay benefits from stalled agreement

The government has emailed all educators in State schools with details of how their pay packets will increase generously over the next five years once the new sectoral agreement is signed • Teachers at Scale 7 to receive new allowance to compensate for lack of progression

Updated at 1pm with new details

Educators in State schools have received a personalised letter from the government with details of how their pay packets will improve if the sectoral agreement is approved.

The letters of which MaltaToday has received copies from educators were signed off by the permanent secretary in the Education Ministry and the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.

The direct communication comes after the signing of the new sectoral agreement was stalled following grievances raised by veteran teachers during an information meeting held by the Malta Union of Teachers last week.

The letters give a breakdown of the financial package educators in the different scales and grades will benefit from as a result of the sectoral agreement. MaltaToday is publishing all the letters in its possession.

All educators will immediately be receiving a one-off additional bonus of €1,000 in recognition of their work once the agreement is signed. All will benefit from substantially improved allowances over the five-year period.

All grades will benefit from scale progression, including Kindergarten educators and Learning Support Educators, apart from teachers, who are already in Scale 7, the highest scale possible. A previously proposed Scale 6 grade for teachers with managerial responsibilities and which caused consternation has now been scrapped and instead teachers on Scale 7 will be receiving a new allowance of €1,800.

The improved allowances, and scale adjustments will be backdated to 1 January 2023.

Last week, the MUT put on hold a vote among its members on the agreement it reached with the government after more than 12 months of negotiations.

The union’s decision to suspend the vote was taken after a tumultuous meeting between the MUT council and members that was held at De La Salle College. Veteran teachers who are in Scale 7 felt their progression was stunted when compared to educators in other scales, who will benefit from scale progression apart from generous increases in allowances.

The MUT had asked for further discussions to be held with the Education Ministry on the grievances raised by educators.

Sources close to government have told MaltaToday that although talks with the union are ongoing there isn’t much appetite to change the agreement, which they believe is generous enough. The talks have led to an improved pay packet for teachers on Scale 7.

Information from the letters shows that a secondary school teacher at the maximum band of Scale 7 could be earning a maximum of €46,340 by 2027 under the terms of the new agreement. This equates to €11,000 more than the maximum of €35,325 they could have reached under current conditions.

Teachers in this grade will not be progressing a scale since this is the highest teaching grade scale. However, to compensate for this, they will be receiving a new annual allowance of €1,800 in addition to the usual allowances.

The new agreement also sees the allowance given to educators who act as first-aiders in their respective schools increase to €1,000 from the current €300. This will also be backdated to 1 January 2023.