MUT satisfied with Church explanations on engagement of school staff

The Malta Union of Teachers said today that it had had a fruitful meeting with Bishop Charles Scicluna, administrator of the Maltese archdiocese, about a draft document on the engagement of staff in Church schools, and as a result directives of industrial action in Church schools have been suspended.

Earlier this month the MUT and the Malta Humanist Association (MHA) expressed concern over reports that heads of Catholic schools were being asked by the archdiocese to discuss new terms of employment, which terms would guarantee that schools’ head teachers and other staff could  be safely considered as “practising Catholics” – or face disciplinary action if their “life choices give scandal or ran  counter to the ethos of the school”.

The union had said that  the confidential document would reportedly preclude staff members who "do not adhere in their substantive life-choices to the teachings of the Catholic Church" from being selected to top school posts as well as other identified positions.

The union said today, however, that during its meeting with Mgr Scicluna and other Curia officials, it was assured that the Church had no intention to judge or discriminate among its employees on the basis of their private life.

There would be no investigations on the private lives of teachers, although it was agreed that the teachers should conform to their professional code of ethics and the ethos of their schools.

The union said it agreed that Church schools should continue to promote Catholic values, while respecting workers’ rights.

The two sides agreed to hold further meetings on issues such as mobility between schools and the situation in certain schools where, the union said, the environment was not very conducive to education.

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