Principal Permanent Secretary meets with unions over controversial legislation

Following the tabling of the Public Administration Act in Parliament last week and the inflamed reaction of the federation of unions, the Principal Permanent Secretary, Mario Cutajar, met with with the concerned parties for clarification

Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar meets with FORUM
Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar meets with FORUM

Principal Permanent Secretary, Mario Cutajar, met with trade unions who had last week voiced their indignation over a government proposal which was tabled in Parliament.

The Public Administration Act contains numerous clauses which FORUM, a federation of trade unions, found distasteful.


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One of the issues flagged by Forum was the power being given to the prime minister to be able to sign off on different conditions of work to employees, even if they are in the same grade. The prime minister is also being given the power to remove or change grades and structures in the public administration without consultation.

Other objections include a legal provision making it incumbent on public officials to obey verbal directions from their superiors and an extension of ‘political neutrality’ to all grades, effectively barring all people employed with the government from publicly expressing a political opinion. 

The Prime Minister, when asked about the issue by MaltaToday, downplayed the trade unions' reactions as a misunderstanding. 

He said the legislation would not be withdrawn but government representatives would meet with the trade unions concerned to discuss the matter.

They met earlier this afternoon with Cutajar as he listened to their complaints on several of the clauses in the Public Administration Act.

Cutajar ascertained FORUM that the federation would be included in all discussions during all the phases when the legislation is implemented.