A new collective agreement for Public Service employees was signed today. This is the fifth collective agreement for civil servants, but the first one covering an eight-year period. The aim is to ensure more stability while the Public Administration continues to implement the necessary changes, invest in people and offer a good quality service.
The new agreement effects some 30,000 employees and incurs an expense of €17 million for 2017, increasing to €20.5 million in 2024. This includes increases both in salaries and in certain allowances.
The agreement provides for a salary increase for Public Administration employees as from the first year that it comes into force. This increase amounts to about €16.5 million in the first year and reaches some €20 million towards the agreement’s expiry.
The agreement also ensures that those employees who continue working after reaching retirement age do not lose their right to pre-retirement leave but will now be able to avail themselves of it upon retiring.
Employees working on a shift basis will benefit from a change in their shift allowance. Employees who have an additional qualification to that which is required for their duties will benefit from an increase in the qualification allowance. This goes hand in hand with the Public Administration’s vision to keep improving its workforce’s qualifications. This is also achieved through the Institute for Public Services, which is now not just a training centre for Public Administration employees but a legal entity set up in partnership with the University of Malta and MCAST.
The new collective agreement was signed by the General Workers’ Union (GWU), the Malta Chamber of Psychologists (MCP), the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN), the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), the Medical Association of Malta (MAM), UĦM – Voice of the Workers, and the Union of Architects and Engineers within the Civil Service.
Addressing those present, the Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, said that the Government’s aim is to be a model employer. This country is reaching new records in employment, and the Government wants to ensure good quality jobs and careers which satisfy workers’ aspirations. This is an important collective agreement because while improving the salaries and conditions of about 30,000 workers, it is a sign of the advancements being achieved in our country, said the Prime Minister.
The Principal Permanent Secretary, Mr Mario Cutajar, noted that whereas in the past a new collective agreement for the Public Service used to be signed some two years after the previous one’s expiry, today’s agreement was signed just four months after the previous one expired. He said that much is being expected from civil servants – suffice to mention Key Performance Indicators, more efficiency and less bureaucracy – and this collective agreement acknowledges the efforts of these workers.