A new collective agreement for academic staff at the University of Malta for the period 2019-2023 was signed on 19 February 2021.
University Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella, Pro-Chancellor at the University of Malta, Perit Karmenu Vella, the University of Malta Academic Staff Association President, Dr Jean-Paul Baldacchino and vice-President of UMASA, Dr Ivan Sammut, were the signatories, and they were in the presence of Minister for Education, Hon. Justyne Caruana.
The Rector said this occasion pays testament to the important roles of academics, firstly as educators, but also as researchers, innovators and pioneers in their respective areas. "I am satisfied with the collaboration and the sense of duty shown by UMASA, and this is a collective agreement that is sensitive to the contemporary needs of the academic body."
The agreement places a strong focus on the need to enhance the University’s research effort and also that of delivering excellent teaching to students including pastoral care. The agreement also incorporates a salary increase which is fair and reasonable especially considering the current economic climate.
Also present at the signing which took place at the University Council Room were Mr Simon Sammut, University Secretary, Ms Jacqueline Fenech, Director of the Office for Human Resources Management & Development, and Mr Mark Debono, Director of Finance.
UMASA welcomed the signing of the agreement following two-year-long negotiations, with Dr Baldacchino saying that this time was taken in order to address the needs of the whole university ecosystem, which he feels is like a microcosm of our society as a whole, whilst ensuring that academics also fulfil their obligations as researchers to improve our society's current state of being.
Minister Caruana concluded the signing by remarking that this is an important moment in the history of the University, with the agreement ultimately promoting the fulcrum of everything, which is the education being offered to our students. She thanked all parties involved for investing their time in helping reach the desired educational objectives, while being forward-looking.