The Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) has dropped directives that stopped peripatetic teachers from taking up posts in primary schools aimed at addressing shortages brought about by the pandemic-related restrictions. 

In comments to Times of Malta, union boss Marco Bonnici confirmed that the teachers returned to the primary classes on Monday after the government reviewed its transfer process. 

Days before the start of the scholastic year, the authorities ordered peripatetic and support teachers, who usually focus on subjects such as art or PE, to report to ordinary classes to make up for a shortage of teachers. 

The MUT had said the transfers reflected a lack of planning and did not allow the teachers to prepare for the scholastic year.

In October, some 80 peripatetic teachers were ordered to return to their original roles as part of directives issued while talks with the government were ongoing. 

According to Bonnici, the government has now reviewed the list of teachers that had to be moved while also filling vacancies. Schools also made arrangements to fill certain vacancies. 

This meant that from over 100 peripatetic teachers, only 40 were impacted and would be temporarily filling shortages during this scholastic year.

Bonnici said the union did not object to this since the process is now deemed fair and efforts were made to fill gaps by employing staff and making arrangements, as opposed to the original plan of relying solely on the peripatetic educators. 

During the dispute, the education authorities had gone to court in a bid to stop the union from issuing directives. However, they failed in their quest to obtain a warrant of prohibitory injunction to block the industrial action. 

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

Support Us