Army officers are up in arms against the “inadequate” compensation received for extra hours of duty in November during the Valletta Migration Summit and CHOGM.
In a letter sent last Monday, the Armed Forces Union, which is affiliated to the General Workers’ Union, requested a meeting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to agree on an “adequate and rational” solution.
Though soldiers are not entitled to overtime, in exceptional cases, when they are on duty around the clock, they are given compensation in the form of an allowance. In this case, it transpired from the November payslip that members of the Armed Forces of Malta had been given an additional €110 but only for the services rendered in connection with the Commonwealth summit.
In their letter, the soldiers lamented that the payment in question was similar to that received in 2005, when Malta had hosted CHOGM for the first time. They noted that circumstances this time round were much more demanding in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and so called for a higher allowance.
Contacted by the Times of Malta, GWU deputy general secretary Kevin Camilleri said that, as a minimum, they were expecting a similar allowance for the migration summit.
He said the issue had already been raised with the army’s top brass and the Home Affairs Ministry in separate meetings but with no success.
While no date has been set yet for the meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr Camilleri said that they would keep up the pressure, even thoughmembers of disciplined forces were not allowed to take industrial action.