Tuesday 11 August 2020

Court upholds Steward Health Care Malta prohibitory injunction against MUMN on release of Gozo nurses

The Court has today upheld a warrant of prohibitory injunction requested by   Steward Health Care Malta against the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) regarding an industrial action ordered by MUMN over the release of Gozitan nurses working in Malta to be deployed to the Gozo General Hospital.

Honourable Judge Toni Abela issued the court decree earlier today (see attached). Steward Malta had filed the warrant of prohibitory injunction on 14June 2020, which was provisionally upheld on that same day, in relation to the industrial action ordered by the MUMN. 

Steward Malta welcomes the court decree as it believes that the decision ensures that the health services in Gozo remain unaffected. Moreover, the decision is in the best interests of its patients and the Gozitan community that it serves.

The court decree stated that it was evident that the authorization of the Health Ministry was necessary in order for Gozitan nurses to be released to Gozo. Moreover, the decree stated that the transfer of the Gozitan nurses did not depend on Steward Malta. 

What is certain, the Court remarked, is that the movement of nurses depends exclusively on the Health Ministry and this could only be done on 25 June 2020. In fact, during the proceedings, the judge heard a Health Ministry official confirm that Gozitan nurses could only be released as from the 25 of June 2020, which amounted to two weeks following the notice of industrial action issued by the union. 

The court also noted that on the day the industrial action was called, Steward Malta had communicated with the union that it had not received [by the Ministry] an indication of when Gozitan nurses would be released.

In its decree, the Court also remarked that it could not fail to observe that Steward Malta officials testified most clearly that they have no problem to engage Gozitan nurses and to transfer foreign workers to Malta.



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