On the 30th of September, The Malta Health Students Association publicly confirmed that the incident regarding payments for summer placements has been resolved and come to a satisfactory conclusion. The issue arose when students practicing health sciences were informed via email (and on the last day of placements) that they would only be paid for placements carried out in July. Half of said placements were also practiced in June, amounting to roughly 150 unpaid work hours which for us students is quite a big chunk.
On the 10th of August, MHSA released a statement informing students, as well as the general public that the organisation had been in direct contact with Hon. Mr. Chris Fearne regarding the issue and included the screenshots of correspondence between MHSA President Kaitlyn Byrne and Mr. Fearne. Ms Byrne noted that “for the past years, these hours were paid for by the Department of Health in full for both months and for both courses”; those courses being Nursing and Physiotherapy that were affected by the change.
It was unfair for the students to be “overlooked and not be compensated financially for the valuable amount of time dedicated to carrying out the lengthy placement hours.”
In the publication announcing the overturn of payments, MHSA confirm , together with the Director of Human Resources, People Management and Development of the Ministry of Health Mr Joseph Barbieri, that the students will be receiving full payment for their placement hours, even those carried out in June. Mr Barbieri agreed with the association that it was unfair for the students to be “overlooked and not be compensated financially for the valuable amount of time dedicated to carrying out the lengthy placement hours.” MHSA also stated that the payment will be “processed in time for payroll number 11, due on November 4th 2017, excluding additional placement hours.”
MHSA also stated that they are working in order to prevent such an event for reoccurring as students cannot deal with such a situation on an annual basis. This shows that MHSA are a truly hard working association, ensuring that all students’ rights and voices are heard; a true model for great student activism.
The Yuppie wishes MHSA, and all student organisations a fruitful year ahead.