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MALTATODAY 23 October 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 27 MARCH 2022 OPINION 3 LETTERS & EDITORIAL maltatoday | SUNDAY • 23 OCTOBER 2022 Mikiel Galea Letters & Clarifications Who sides with management? IN his latest attack on the UPE, the MUT President accused the UPE of op- portunistically siding with management after the UPE paid a courtesy visit at St. Albert's College. Although the UPE has by now become accustomed to the irra- tional outbursts of the MUT President, his statement warrants a reply as it is characteristically misleading as much as it is deceptive. First and foremost, the UPE paid a courtesy visit at St. Albert College as it has the students' education at heart as much as it is concerned with the well being of educators. The UPE reminds the MUT that the situation at St. Albert deteriorated due to the MUT's mishan- dling of the Head of School's dismissal. Instead of limiting itself to support- ing the former Head of School through legal avenues, the MUT thought fit of embroiling other staff members in the issue. The result was an escalation of unbridled tension and hostility which could have had much more serious repercussions. However, there are other serious considerations at stake which the MUT President did not speak about. In this respect the UPE cannot but highlight the following conundrums: Why did the MUT try to embroil the whole staff of St. Albert in the case concerning the former Head of School when it never resorted to such action for similar grievances raised by chalk- face grades in other schools? Why did the MUT register as mem- bers of the union Heads of Church Schools when, contrary to their coun- terparts in the public service, these Heads carry out functions pertaining to employers such as the hiring and firing of employees? For the record, the MUT is registered with the Director of Industrial and Employment Relations as a Trade Union and not as an Employers' Association. Doesn't the MUT realise that its con- duct may have pressurised members of staff to support their former Head of School since, if he is eventually reinstat- ed, he would be in a position to deter- mine their employment at the school? Is this position ethically justified and doesn't it further compound the MUT's conflict of interest in the matter? The UPE is committed to build bridg- es between all stakeholders without embroiling itself in structural conflicts of interest to the detriment of grassroot educators and students alike. It is for this reason that the UPE does not regis- ter as members management grades. Its sole interest is the betterment of condi- tions of work of the chalkface grades. The same cannot be said of the other union whose top brass agreed to the Learning Outcome Framework which inundated educators with needless paperwork while at the same time sign- ing off their rights via a bad sectoral agreement. Educators and the general public know full well who consorts with man- agement and who has the welfare of educators and students alike at heart. Graham Sansone Executive Head, UPE 'Call to arms' KIRILL, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, described "war criminal" Vladimir Putin as a "miracle of God". Secolo XIX magazine reported that, at a ceremony with the Russian armed forces, the patriarch spoke of a "veritable 'call to arms'." "Back in my early childhood," re- called Marlene Dietrich, "I had learned that God doesn't fight on an army's side. Nonetheless, before every battle, prayers were read, all kinds of incan- ta-tions were recited, staged by all sorts of preachers. We attended these ceremonies, and I saw how the soldiers stood in place, as though they couldn't believe their ears." Albert Einstein described "the odious militia" as "that vilest offspring of the herd mind. This heroism at command, this senseless violence, this accursed bombast of patriotism – how in-tensely I despise them! War is low and des- picable, and I had rather be smitten to shreds than participate in such doings." As for the autocrat Putin – the so- called "miracle of God" – Einstein was "convinced that de-generacy follows every autocratic system of violence, for violence inevitably attracts moral in-fe- riors." John Guillaumier St Julian's

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