#WeWantOurResultsNow

During the past week Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU) has received a number of calls and more than 500 complaints regarding the current situation where results are not being published due to the Collective Agreement Industrial Dispute. KSU has tried to contact all stakeholders who are involved in the collective Agreement’s negotiations. However the concerned entities have not come back with any information regarding the stage of the negotiations. The Student body is alarmed, and KSU is concerned.

The situation got out of hand !

The situation got out of hand !

On the 18th of July 2014, KSU held a press conference at University of Malta Gateway. During this press conference Gayle Lynn Callus, president of KSU stated that students, although not involved in the discussions are the only victims in the current dispute between the Government of Malta, MUT, UMASA and the University of Malta. Besides all this, he stated that the students are the only stakeholders which are not represented around the table of negotiations. Amongst the directives imposed by the mentioned unions there are: to withhold the publication of exam results except those of the final years and also not to attend any meetings.

The President of KSU also stated that not issuing  the exam results is affecting many students especially those who cannot finish their application for ERASMUS+ programmes. He also mentioned the fact that the time between when the results are published and the date of the resit exam is decreased, there is not enough time for the students to study. Adding to this he also stated that the this dispute may lead to a situation where the Revision paper is issue after the resit examinations are held.

Ryan Falzon, KSU Education Commissioner, explained how during the past days KSU have received a number of phone calls and hundreds of complaints from both students and parents. They are all worried regarding the current situation. He also stated that although all students are being affected the Education Office has also received a number of complaints which are Faculty specific. Students of the Faculty of Health Sciences cannot continue working on their thesis, as their proposals were not approved by the Ethics Board, fourth year Medicine students cannot apply for the UK Foundation Programme as they are not able to finish their application, Gozitan students will have to rent flats with higher prices and international students who may have a resit will have to buy more expensive airline tickets to come back to Malta. 

He also explained, how during the past months KSU took an active role in the Collective Agreement negotiations, although not having a formal place in the discussions of the mentioned document. Amongst the proposals there were that academics salaries are maintained or increased, the deadline of publication of results is according to the amount of ECTS of the subject and the dates of the results, and the creation of a coursework feedback.

Rebecca Micallef, KSU Social Policy Commissioner explained the various press releases issued by the council. She stated that it is unacceptable that students are used as chess pawns. KSU have the support of almost all student organisations and urged all students to unite as one front and safeguard their rights.

Gayle Lynn Callus stated that later that day KSU is going to issue an online application where students can enter the Study Unit of which results were still not received and also add comments how this industrial dispute is affecting them. This online form can be accessed from the following link:

http://ksu.org.mt/what-results-are-you-still-waiting-for

He also stated that KSU will be formally asking all parties involved to be represented in any future talks concerning the collective agreement. Therefore the council will lobby to have a representative around the table of negotiations, as the student is the main stakeholder.

While keeping KSU neutrality, the President urged all stake holders to come with as solution as immediately as possible and stop using the student as a bargaining tool. 

After this press conference KSU issued a video where students from the different faculties and student organisations were invited to say their concerns. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPLKszSchds&feature=youtu.be

“Students are not Chess Pawns”

Kunsill Stundenti Universitarji (KSU) has been following closely the industrial dispute between MUT, UMASA, University of Malta and the Government of Malta after unfruitful Collective agreement negotiations.  The disagreement centred around the financial package, which according to MUT was “less than the increases given to other public entities”.

Time frame of events:

30th June 2014: MUT and UMASA declared a trade dispute with the University of Malta and Government of Malta as they did not receive any feedback on their  proposals regarding the financial package for the collective agreement. According to the lecturers this resulted in a deadlock in negotiations. KSU issued a press release, reiterating what had been stated in 2008, that students should not be used as a bargaining tool. The council has also communicated with both unions, the Ministry for Education and Employment and also with the University of Malta Rector.

1st July 2014: MUT and UMASA have been informed by the Governmnet  that a counter offer would be presented by that Thursday, latest Friday. Therefore the mentioned unions have decided to suspend the industrial actions.

3rd July 2014: KSU had an urgent meeting with Hon. Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment, during which he assured the council that this dispute will be solved until the day after  following the counter proposal given by the Ministry of Finance and PACBU.

4th July 2014: A financial proposal from the University of Malta and the Government was received by MUT and UMASA, in relation to the Collective Agreement negotiations. The received proposals were not satisfying for the Unions as they described them as: “far off from what the Unions expected but is also less than the increases given to other public entities.” The unions re-instituted industrial action in both the University of Malta and Junior College. KSU issued another press release titled “Don’t Trample on our Rights!”, in which it states that students rights should be protected.

5th July 2014:  Gayle Lynn Callus, President of KSU called an urgent KE/KPS meeting during which it was agreed that this is an urgent matter and a KE meeting should be called.

Infographic Timeline explaining the events which took place in Collective Agreement industrial dispute

Infographic Timeline explaining the events which took place in Collective Agreement industrial dispute

7th September: KSU had met with Prof. Juanito Camilleri and Prof. Mary Anne Lauri, the University of Malta Rector and Pro-Rector respectively. During this meeting this issue was discussed. The  KSU Education Office called an urgent Kummissjoni Edukazzjoni (KE) meeting during which a KSU final position was agreed on. The council issued another press release: “Students are not Chess Pawns”. It was stated that KSU should not take sides, however, the students’ main concern regarding this issue is that students are always used as a leverage in such discussion and urged all stake holders to return to the table of negotiations. This press release was also supported by a number of Student Organisations: ASA, ASCS, CSA, ELSA, ESN, GUG, GħSL, GħST,  ICTSA JEF Malta, KSJC, MHSA, MMSA, MPSA, MUSC, Pulse, SACES, S3 , SDM, TDM 2000 Malta, TSA, UESA, We Are.

Press Release issued by KSU: "Students are not Chess Pawns"

Press Release issued by KSU: “Students are not Chess Pawns”

KSU is continuing to follow this issue and will take further steps, which were discussed during the last KE meeting, to make more pressure and stop all the stake holders from continuing to use the student as a bargaining tool.