UHM mulls industrial action over Steward Health Care workers’ study leave

The workers' union said that the employees should enjoy the same conditions and benefits as their government employed counter-parts 

Steward Health Care has slashed its employees' study leave, according to the UHM
Steward Health Care has slashed its employees' study leave, according to the UHM

Union Haddiema Maghqudin has accused Steward Health Care of reducing its employees’ study leave by two-thirds, preventing them from being able to specialise in their medical fields.

“This goes against the requirements set by the sector internationally, for professionals to continue specializing in order to be better able to treat their patients.

The US healthcare provider was transferred the concession to administer Karin Grech, St Luke’s and the Gozo General hospitals from Vitals Global Healthcare, the company which had originally signed a public-private partnership agreement with the government.

The UHM said that this latest decision had left hospital employees confused, especially those who had already planned their studies for the year.

The decision to cut down on employees’ study leave was confirmed by Steward’s CEO Nadine Delicata, the union said.

“The decision shows the company’s lack of faith in its workers because it is depriving them from improving their career in line with the interests of their patients,” UHM said. 

The union said it had filed an industrial dispute, adding that it was not excluding taking industrial action in the coming days. 

UHM further stressed that workers currently employed by Steward Health Care ought to become government employees, in order for them to be able to access the same rights and working conditions as their counterparts.

“Employees should be absorbed by the government, so they can be granted the same conditions as their government employed counterparts, who not only carry out the same work, but also work in the same wards,” UHM said. 

“Professionals who work with Steward Health Care deserve better,” the statement concluded.   

READ ALSO: Steward Healthcare workers should become government employees, union says


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