The Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin has denied being invited to negotiate a deal signed last month between the government and the General Workers’ Union on nursing aides.

GWU section secretary Jeremy Camilleri said this week the UĦM never showed any interest in the deal, which removed pay discrimination for nursing aides.

However, UĦM assistant director Gian Paul Gauci told the Times of Malta the two unions never discussed the issue. “The UĦM holds numerous meetings with the GWU on various subjects, though no meetings were ever held about this issue.

“We have every respect for Jeremy Camilleri, though we never received any invitation from him or the GWU to participate in discussions on the matter,” he said.

Mr Gauci specified that the UĦM was not accusing the GWU of any wrong­doing. He insisted that it was the government that was in duty bound to invite both unions to the negotiating table rather than one union to invite another for talks.

“When a union asks to negotiate on behalf of a group of workers, the government is obliged to invite the same union for talks.

“The government is also obliged to invite other unions if they are recognised as representing the workers,” Mr Gauci said.

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