Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti
The council of the Nurses’ union, MUMN, refuses to declare its position on the future of its disgraced President Paul Pace, who was caught red-handed abusing his position by claiming overtime while on holiday in Egypt.
Questions sent to Colin Galea, the long-serving secretary general, to declare the council’s position following the latest revelations remained unanswered by the time of writing.
The Shift is informed that many of the MUMN’s council members have expressed their sentiments privately that Pace’s position as the head of the union is no longer tenable.
However, fearing retribution, many have not yet expressed their opinion during a formal council meeting.
Asked to state whether, given the proven claims that Pace repeatedly abused his position at his place of work, he has offered his resignation, Galea remained tight-lipped.
He also refused to say whether, for the MUMN, the abuse of work by its own president is acceptable.
“It is obvious that if we are to be considered serious, Pace no longer has a place at the MUMN,” a long-standing council member told The Shift.
“However, many of my colleagues fear that Pace will somehow bully them and are just closing both their eyes to the obvious,” he said.
Paid for overtime while on holiday
Meanwhile, more details of the Health Ministry probe, kept under wraps by the government, about Paul Pace’s abuse as a charge nurse at Mt Carmel Hospital are emerging.
The report shows that between 16 and 27 February 2023, when Pace was on holiday in Egypt with two other colleagues, he claimed overtime on four separate days, totalling 30 hours. He was paid in full for this overtime.
His highest claim was on 26 February, a Sunday, when overtime was twice the standard rate. On that occasion, he claimed 10 hours of overtime while on holiday in Alexandria.
Also, it resulted that while some 2,000 kilometres away, somehow the President of the MUMN managed to sign in his attendance sheet at Mt Carmel Hospital, in Attard, on three days, marking that he was physically present at work for the whole day, including a higher-rate Sunday.
He also claimed for days of work while he was on holiday in Portugal, The Shift revealed in the damning conclusions of the report.
Instead of being dismissed by the government, a Public Service Commission disciplinary board chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Justice Ministry Johann Galea somehow concluded that it did not feel that the case merited Pace’s dismissal and issued a five-day suspension instead.
A chequered past
Paul Pace has been at the helm of the nurses’ union for many years, but in 2015, he was ousted as a block vote was organised against him by council members.
Pace came tenth while his secretary general, Colin Galea, got most of the votes, according to the vote count, which was leaked to the Times of Malta, causing embarrassment for Pace. He immediately left the council as soon as the results were published.
Instead of returning to his nursing job, Pace was immediately contacted by then-health minister Konrad Mizzi and was put on a lucrative salary as a government adviser.
Four years later, in 2019, he returned to the MUMN, became president again, and resigned from his government advisory role.