Maltese EFL teachers are struggling to get by as financial assistance, promised by the government, has been slow in arriving, according to the Times of Malta. Teachers on zero hour contracts are particularly badly hit as they have all been classified as part-time workers, meaning government grants are correspondingly lower, the Union of Professional Educators (UPE) told the paper.
The UPE, which represents teachers from all sectors, has been campaigning on behalf of EFL staff since March, when the Mediterranean country closed its borders, forcing all its language schools to close.
As the Gazette reported in our last issue, UPE reports of teachers working on-line unpaid hit the headlines in the Maltese press. Local schools association, FELTOM, responded by condemning any schools who had not paid their staff, but emphasising that the practice was not wide-spread in the crippled Maltese ELT industry.
Within 24 hours the industry had hit back at the latest story from UPE. A statement on the website of industry regulator, the ELT Council, confirmed that all applications for financial assistance had been processed. In an apparent swipe at UPE, the statement is headed “Beyond Sensationalism: tangible action from those who have the ELT industry at heart“.