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Students are not a Bargaining Tool
Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU), in response to the deadlock in negotiations between The Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), University of Malta Academic Staff Association (UMASA), the University of Malta (UOM) and the Government of Malta, urges for effective and cautious action, however without any detrimental effects on the education of the students at University. The council reiterates the statement that had been published in 2008 in a similar situation – that the education of all students at University is not a bargaining tool – and should not be used as such in any, least of all this particular, situation.
Today’s announcement comes after a disagreement between the parties involved, following the lack of feedback from the Government regarding the unions’ proposals for the Collective Agreement.
KSU, as stated in the proposals discussed when meeting the above parties, acknowledges the importance of financial resources, and that this is a sensitive issue. Remuneration packages and the academics that they attract should be discussed but decisions should never be taken at the cost of the educational process. KSU agrees that it is in the interest of a better educational system, that packages are improved in an effort to continue attracting the very best of academics. Competitiveness and quality assurance in the delivery at University, is a priority without which, not only the students stand to lose.
Packages should be maintained and enhanced where possible; however this must never be done at students’ expense.
Whilst calling for a resolution of this issue, the Council emphasises that the students, their welfare, and their education are to be safeguarded throughout these processes. University is a holistic organisation that brings together many separate stakeholders – it remains a priority for these parties to work in harmony, for the effective running and improvement of the institution as a whole.
KSU remains in contact with MUT, UMASA, University and the Government, and looks forward to an efficient solution on the issue, encouraging timely action, whilst stressing that the priority of all bodies is to remain the student and the students' educational process.