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Protest by nurse union after hospital technicians have yearly bonus denied

 - Local - Jan 19 SHARE ON:
Protest by nurse union after hospital technicians have yearly bonus denied

After Mater Dei Hospital technicians were denied their annual allowance which was stipulated in their sectorial agreement, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) protested outside the Health Ministry in Valletta. 

Speaking in front of the health ministry, union members said that around 24 workers who fix medical equipment are owed €2,500 annually. The Union’s president Paul pace said that for reasons unknown, the government refused to meet with union representatives to discuss the matter in any capacity. 

The union also alleged that the union directives that have been in place since December have been ignored. Pace said instead of finding a resolution, the health minister instead decided to hire an outside contractor to carry out duties affected by directives. 

According to an agreement signed in 2017, the workers are responsible for special medical equipment and are entitled to this allowance. The MUMN said that this has not been paid since 2019, whilst colleagues in the same division received it. Pace is urging the government to come forward and open dialogue on the issue. 

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World’s oldest man passes away just before his 113th birthday

 - International - Jan 19 SHARE ON:
World’s oldest man passes away just before his 113th birthday

The world’s Guinness approved oldest man has passed away less than one month before celebrating what would have been his 113th birthday.Saturnino de la Fuente Garcia from Spain achieved the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living male in September 2021, when he was recorded as being exactly 112 years and 211 days old. 

Saturnino was born on February 11th, 1909, and was just a matter of weeks away from his next birthday. The World Records company shared the sad news late on Tuesday January 18th, announcing this remarkable man’s passing.He was described as having lived a ‘kind and long’ life without ‘hurting anyone’ – a trait which he had himself claimed to be his secret to long life. He welcomed seven daughters, 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren throughout his life.

Also establishing a flourishing shoemaker business, Saturnino managed to avoid enlistment in the 1936 Spanish Civil War thanks to his short height, going on to create boots for the army. The Spanish football fan saw a great deal in his life, having lived well over a century and a decade. He had emphasised the quiet life and being kind to others as the most important things in life. 

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First solar powered roundabout inaugurated in Malta

 - Local - Jan 19 SHARE ON:
First solar powered roundabout inaugurated in Malta

A new roundabout in Ħal Safi became the first one in Malta to be implanted with photovoltaic technology. All of its electrical and irrigational functions will be generated by photovoltaic cells through renewable energy. 

Energy Minister Aaron Farrugia announced this, who said that this is the first of its kind on the island which depends completely on sources of renewable energy.

Farrugia said that this roundabout was removed in the beginning of last year, but has now been reinstalled as part of a renewable project, along with the planting of new greenery. 

The project seeks to save up to 10kg of carbon emissions every 24 hours. The minister said that this project is an example of how local councils and other entities can join forces to create sustainable projects.’

‘In this case’, the Minister said, ‘it is a combination of renewable energy along with urban aesthetic improvement so both can give an example, improve our urban landscape, provide benefits to pollinating systems and acquire the benefits of solar energy.’ 

Seasonal plants were also planted to beautify the project, with all of the vegetation being appropriate for Malta’s climate and not needing excessive watering. 

Ħal Safi’s mayor Johan Mula said that the local council wished that this project be 100% environmentally safe from the start. He explained how the solar panels which have been installed are the only source for the function of the project which includes an irrigation system for the watering of several bushes, an LED system and a water pump. 

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Restaurant owner and gym slam new COVID booster restrictions

 - COVID-19 - Jan 19 SHARE ON:
Restaurant owner and gym slam new COVID booster restrictions

The new measures introduced on the 17th of January 2022 were met with considerable criticism by many individuals and groups. Among them, a leading Gozitan entrepreneur and a gym took to social media to announce their defiance of the new measures.Anthony Scicluna, owner of Cafe’ Jubilee called the new measures ‘tyranny at its best’, outlining several issues he has with the new restrictions on a Facebook post. 

In it, he details how as an established restauranteur, he deems the Green Covid Pass is ‘more about a control exercise rather than about positive health/business measures’ and ‘another stab in the back.’ Scicluna outlined his views, beginning by stating that the fact that the vaccine certificates can be verified only via digital means implies that people in possession of a booster vaccination card cannot be allowed entry. He also asked what happens to elder citizens who cannot access the digital certificate on the phone. 

He went on to ask further questions about what happens to those who just took their booster (having to wait 13 days before they can dine), and what happens to unvaccinated people who cannot enter restaurants. He emphasised how ‘The CovPassMalta app is available only on an android phone. So what happens for those who do not have an extra phone around? Or what if I do not have an android phone at all? Am I forced to buy one in all my establishments? […] if I am doing the Health Authority’s own job, shouldn’t the Health Authority provide us with the proper equipment to do their job?’ 

He also spoke about the time-consumption which would result from staff being responsible for verifying the digital green passes but also the presentation of an ID card for each customer. To the ‘detriment of the whole restaurant experience, we are now being forced to do the authority’s job instead. We have, all of a sudden, become civil servants. After 2 years of battling with near-financial bankruptcy, will the government be compensating us restauranteurs now for the extra manpower involved in administering the Health Authority’s job?’ 

Apart from Scicluna, M&P fitness also took to social media to announce that they will be hosting group sessions where no vaccine certification is required. ‘Well done to the ‘so called’ experts for failing to recognise the importance of Health and Fitness for everybody regardless of their vaccine status. We will not forget those who choose to remain unvaccinated or those who have chosen not to take the booster. We fully support everybody’s individual choices’ a post read. 


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