The new collective agreement for the University of Malta academic staff was signed on Wednesday, ending a dispute that had been dragging for months.
The details, of the package, were not revealed; however it is believed that it features salary increases and more flexible working hours with the new opening hours of the University being from 0800 to 2000 CET.
Signing for the University was President of Council, Professor David Attard and Rector, Professor Juanito Camilleri, while Mr John Bencini, President, and Mr Franklin Barbara, Secretary General signed for the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), while Dr Ing. Victor Buttigieg and Dr Ing. Michael Saliba signed for the University of Malta Academic Staff Association (UMASA). .
It is a 5-year contract which covers around 110 academics.
The Odyssey that brought the two sides to sign the new collective agreement started off in March 2008, with the relationship between the unions and the government gradually deteriorating in industrial actions and to an eventual standstill in the discussions.
The turning point of this saga seems to have been the rally held by KSU on January 6; where it criticised both the unions and the government for using ‘education as a bargaining tool’ and urged both sides to resume the talks.
Indeed, the industrial actions that were issued by MUT and UMASA to withhold the exam papers were lifted and talks resumed.
The new collective agreement was first approved by the University of Malta academic staff on January 15 and then signed on January 22.
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