Updated 5.40pm with University reaction

Lecturers at the Junior College will go on strike on Monday and Tuesday, causing disruption for around 2,000 students.

The 160 lecturers are walking out over working conditions following a failure to reach a new collective agreement. 

They will strike between 11-1pm on Monday and all day on Tuesday, meaning there will be no lectures.

Malta Union of Teachers president Marco Bonnici blamed the "stubbornness of some" and said it was planning further action. 

The University of Malta said it had tabled an "attractive financial proposal".

At the end of the first walk-out on Monday, an Education Ministry spokesperson told Times of Malta it planned on continuing to "facilitate discussions" to find a "sustainable solution" that would benefit educators and students. 

Some of the Msida-based students are preparing for their mock A-level exams.

Earlier this month MUT warned it will order lecturers to strike if the dispute was not resolved.

"Following six days since we announced a series of industrial actions for lecturers, we are now announcing that Junior College lecturers will strike today for two hours and all day tomorrow," Bonnici said at a news conference outside the college.

The dispute relates to negotiations on the new collective agreement and was declared last August. The negotiations, the union said, reached a standstill and conciliation meetings did not lead to a positive outcome.

Bonnici said the collective agreement expired back in 2018, and lecturers have waited for an update for the past three years. 

"The new education Minister Clifton Grima has made attempts to unblock and solve the siutation, however we still have seen no progress due to the stubborness of some," Bonnici said. 

He added that the University of Malta has been aware of the situation since last August, when MUT first declared an idustrial dispute. 

Bonnici said the next step forward is to proceed with other actions following consultations with its members. 

A University spokesperson said the union has repeated refused its financial offer and that claims of intransigience are a "far cry from the truth",

"Over the last few months, the University has been engaged in discussions with the MUT in a bid to successfully conclude the Collective Agreement," it said.

"UM strongly believes that it has tabled an attractive financial proposal that is consistent with its pay structures and reflects relativity across the institution."

It said it regrets MUT’s decisions to order the strike. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us