19 Dec 2020


Yes, there are rivalries and competition in collective bargaining between unions in this sector. Competition is a natural consequence of the fact that union recognition is based on the practice that a union, once it has 50% of the workers it can claim to be recognized. On the other hand, there does not appear to be any rivalry with respect to the participation of trade unions in policy formulation and implementation, as all stakeholders are consulted. Only wage agreements that are negotiated several times. The public administration employed approximately 11,593 people in 2007. This proportion represents about 7% of the total Maltese labour force. Unions have traditionally been strong in this sector. Four unions participate in collective bargaining, namely the General Union of Workers, the United Workers Union, the Union of Architects and Engineers of the Public Service and the Professional Union-Planning Authority. All workers employed in this sector are related to the activity, with the exception of armed forces and police workers who are not eligible to join a registered union. The estimated rate of sector tariffs excluding the armed forces and the police is about 71%. The HMO is involved in genuine collective bargaining in the sector. It is one of the signatories of the collective agreement, which commits all employees of the public service. In addition, the UHM enters into a number of ancillary agreements within public services.

For this reason, the HMO plays a dual role in the collective bargaining scenario of the public service, as representatives of important interests on behalf of all workers in the sector, with other unions and as the sole negotiator in the majority of government services. The official interviewed estimated that the UHM had some 40 ancillary agreements in the public services sector. These agreements contain specific provisions and conditions for each workstation. The union is also involved in the consultation on the sector. This agreement includes a range of improved and new concepts, such as greater flexibility in work and leave options to enable workers to better balance work and private life, to invest more in training and development, and to review the benefit compensation mechanism. The agreement, which governs the working conditions of 254 employees and extends them until 2023, provides for improved wages and conditions while ensuring the stability of the workforce in order to guarantee the highest performance standards to which the Authority has committed. A body composed of a president and two members, appointed by the government in agreement with the unions, was created as a conciliatory structure by a clause in the current collective agreement of the public service. The Board of Directors helps resolve disputes without the need for industrial action. The parties who signed the collective agreement agreed that this committee should operate without prejudice to a mechanism provided by Maltese laws for the reconciliation of disputes. Yesterday, a new collective agreement on the technical and clerical ranks of the planning authority was signed between the internal union UTAC and the Authority.

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