MaltaToday | 13 August 2008

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NEWS | Wednesday, 13 August 2008

St Luke’s maintenance workers doing ‘filing’ inside Mater Dei

Some 35 workers from St Luke’s Hospital’s engineering division who carried out maintenance work at the former state hospital, were promoted to a Scale 10 salary to carry out filing work and dish out meals, informed sources told MaltaToday.
Government has paid millions to private companies who were previously contracted by Skanska on the construction site of Mater Dei Hospital, to extend their contract when the hospital was handed over to the government, without issuing a public competition for tender.
Mekanika Ltd. was given a €1.8 million direct order as an extension of its private contract with Skanksa, for the maintenance of mechanical and electrical systems at Mater Dei.
The 64 maintenance personnel at St Luke’s Hospital were retained and were not transferred to Mater Dei Hospital.
Informed sources said the SLH engineering division were offered a transfer to Mater Dei on condition that they are seconded to Mekanika, and submit to their management.
When the workers refused, both the General Workers Union and the Union Haddiema Maqghudin intervened, to no avail.
Now some 35 workers, formerly maintenance personnel at St Luke’s, have accepted a promotion to a Scale 10 salary of some €15,000, and have been assigned filing duties in the radiology department, work inside the provisions stores, and other duties with the fire section and the waste division.
The other workers who stayed at St Luke’s, which include plumbers, carpenters, electricians and personnel from the boiler-room, have converted various sections of the hospital into a pharmacy and offices, while refurbishing the Karen Grech rehabilitation ward.
“Although they did not get their ‘promotion’, those workers are motivated and doing the jobs they were trained for,” a source who wished to remain unnamed said. “But they are still carrying out maintenance work at the Pharmacy Of Your Choice officers, medical records, the general stores, the blood transfusion centre, the Child Development Unit, detox, and the chest clinic.
“On the other hand, the Mater Dei personnel are doing nothing related to their duties… and you have to say they are constantly finding faults inside Mater Dei which they cannot do anything about because it is no longer their responsibility.”

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