OPM protects MUMN Head Paul Pace, refusing FOI request

The Office of the Prime Minister’s Permanent Secretary has refused a Freedom of Information request to list the number of public officers she had approved to work with trade unions.

The reason behind the request filed by The Shift is the contradictory claims recently made by the Head of the Nurses Union, Paul Pace, to an inquiry board that found him guilty of abusing overtime payments.

The Shift asked the OPM for a complete list of approvals to every union according to the public service ‘Manual on Special Leave’.

Joyce Cassar, the OPM’s Permanent Secretary responsible for approving secondments of public officers to work with trade unions, shot down the request, claiming that the requested information “is excluded from the FOI law”.

The Shift has filed a complaint after lawyers consulted said Cassar’s assertions were incorrect.

Pace, a charge nurse at Mount Carmel, was supposedly seconded to work for the union – MUMN. Yet, the OPM’s Permanent Secretary refuses to confirm whether this is actually the case.

According to public sector rules, trade unions that are signatories to collective agreements with the public sector can claim the secondment of government employees to work full-time with their union.

The number of secondments is calculated according to the number of members of each union. Since the MUMN claims to have just over 5,000 members, it is entitled to have two government employees seconded on full-paid leave.

While Paul Pace, has told the inquiry board that he is often absent from work to attend union meetings, the government and the MUMN are refusing to state if he is really seconded by the government to work as a full-time union official.

According to the rules in the manual, public servants seconded to work for unions are not entitled to overtime payments from public coffers. Yet Pace claimed hundreds of thousands in overtime payments, the inquiry found.

Pace, the President of the MUMN for many years, was also found to have received overtime payments when he was on holiday abroad while his signature was being falsified on attendance sheets at Mount Carmel Hospital.

Despite the conclusions of the inquiry, finding him guilty of abuse, Pace was not dismissed. Instead, a Public Service Commission board concluded that it did not feel that the case merited the MUMN’s chief’s dismissal and decided on a five-day suspension.

The MUMN has remained tight-lipped over its disgraced president’s future.


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Jools Seizure
Jools Seizure
3 months ago

Mr. Pace is now permanently on the end of a leash. He would be well advised to restrict his socialising with the iġħna of this country. EZL has a comprehensive list of them if he’s interested. Those capable of applying even the most basic of logic will, henceforth, see right through him. He might actually use his time on the leash to figure out how to justify his spinelessness to those who mistakenly chose to look up to him.

3 months ago

Paul Pace rebutted the accusation that he deliberately availed himself of undue payments whilst performing trade union activities. It appears that owing to a dire shortage of nursing and professional staff Paul Pace had to perform duties related to his nursing profession whilst at the same time performing trade union activities. In my opinion the onus of explaining this anomalous situation lies squarely with the Ministry of Health and not with Paul Pace himself. Before pin pointing any blame , the allegations should be properly evaluated in their full context. .

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