Tista’ taqra bil-
The Commissioner for Schooling inside the Workplace of the Ombudsman deemed MCAST to have engaged in oppressive behaviour and the degrading remedy of a lecturer which was left with none lecturing duties for months on finish.
The dispute originated in 2020, when the lecturer expressed disagreement with MCAST administration over numerous points, together with curricula, instructing strategies and operations, together with the alleged absence of a daily board of research.
By June 2020, MCAST had determined that the difficulty must be resolved by revoking the lecturer’s detailing to the faculty – a transfer which required the approval of the Workplace of the Prime Minister.
The lecturer himself was saved at the hours of darkness till September, when MCAST knowledgeable him that his companies had been not required and that he ought to as an alternative be reporting to human assets inside the Schooling Ministry. Regardless of this notification, nonetheless, the lecturer’s detailing to MCAST had not really been terminated: he was nonetheless on the faculty’s books, receiving a gross annual wage of simply over €40,000.
However he was assigned no lecturing duties, and on October was prohibited from contacting college students through electronic mail or by means of any technique of communication belonging to MCAST, prompting him to file a grievance with the Workplace of the Ombudsman.
The Commissioner for Schooling – former Chief Justice Vincent de Gaetano – confirmed that the state of affairs was anomalous, with OPM confirming that till choices such because the revocation of detailing had been taken, the people involved ought to proceed performing their duties.
Confronted with this, nonetheless, MCAST “started to vacillate and tried to cross on the buck to the Ministry for Schooling and the Ministry’s Ombudsman liaison officer.”
By the point the commissioner’s investigation concluded in Could 2021, the lecturer involved was nonetheless formally assigned at MCAST, left with no duties and on a full wage.
De Gaetano deemed this state of affairs to be unacceptable, stating that other than “an absolute waste of human assets and public funds,” MCAST’s resolution to successfully ostracise a “highly-qualified instructing member of workers for such a very long time was… an oppressive act tantamount to degrading remedy.” It was additionally clear that MCAST authorities made no makes an attempt to resolve the difficulty.
MCAST even proved reluctant to assign some minor administrative duties to the lecturer, with a senior member of workers stating that he had a “tough character.” However de Gaetano dismissed this try at justification.
“In a big tertiary instructional establishment like MCAST there are sure to be clashes of characters and personalities, nevertheless it was inconceivable that such an establishment shouldn’t be in a position, or a minimum of try, to reconcile such variations however ought to go right away for the nuclear choice. And in any case, no establishment ought to ever resort to any act – of fee or omission – which, within the circumstances, is oppressive and degrading,” he mentioned.
Nevertheless, given the time that had elapsed from the start of the tutorial yr to the date of the commissioner’s report, no particular suggestions had been thought-about applicable.