Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.
Data extrapolated from a new report by the Auditor General shows that the GWU, managing the Community Workers Scheme since its inception in 2015, is charging the state €112.40 (excluding VAT) per community worker per month in “administration fees”.
Malta’s largest trade union, the General Workers Union (GWU), gets €1.6 million a year for administering a government scheme initially intended to train long-term unemployed but effectively turned into a government recruitment agency.
According to the most recent information submitted in parliament by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, by the end of last year (2022), there were 1,200 ‘jobless’ workers on the scheme, double the amount it started with in 2015.
The number of those put on this scheme increased at a time when Malta increased the number of work permits issued to third-country nationals due to employment demand.
While the GWU aims to defend and improve worker’s rights across the board, under the scheme, the more unemployed there are, the more money the unions receive.
The brainchild of Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, the Community Workers Scheme was intended to be a closed-ringed training scheme for those registering for unemployment benefits for over two years.
Caruana’s scheme was soon turned into a new jobs-for-votes scheme, with the numbers increasing instead of decreasing, while the union made millions – the more unemployed, the more the union received from its deal with the government.
While the GWU is charging the ministry almost €500,000 a year for some 355 Gozitans put on the scheme, the NAO found a number of discrepancies.
Investigating just a sample, the NAO found that “the total weekly hours reported on the attendance sheets of a maintenance and general cleaner did not reconcile with the 40 weekly hours he was expected to work. Furthermore, no time ins or time outs were reported for one whole week in the audits sample for a beach cleaner.”
Asked for an explanation, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary John Borg said this was due to mistakes.
In one of his explanations, the permanent secretary told the NAO officials that “the community worker who was a maintenance and general cleaner has mistakenly noted his break as 1.5 hours instead of the permitted 15 minutes”.