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pr192361en

PR192361en

05/11/2019

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITIES New collective agreement for community officers and LESA administrative staff

Following the community officers’ transfer to a closed department with the Government Agency LESA in May 2018, the government started working in order to make a positive change in terms of both the educational aspect as well as the operational aspect itself. That year, the name for these officers was changed and they were also assigned a new uniform.
 
Last January, the new LESA offices in Fgura were inaugurated. During this year, training for the new recruits started, environmental enforcement was further strengthened, 20 new motorcycles and 6 new vehicles were inaugurated, the officers who ride motorcycles were given protective clothing, community officers operating in Gozo were for the first time given an office, and a high-level tribunal for the Gozo Region has also been inaugurated.
 
Today a new collective agreement between LESA and the General Workers’ Union for the community officers and the LESA administrative staff was signed. This collective agreement includes a significant and sustainable financial increase for both the administrative staff and those in charge of enforcement and even various measures that have a strong financial value and impact for the benefit of the employees. Among these measures there is an increase in days for sick leave, leave bank, transfer of vacation leave, paid and unpaid leave equivalent to the numbers allocated within the public service, employee insurance, a fair and equitable discipline code, more career opportunities and appropriate training.
 
Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici welcomed this collective agreement between LESA and the General Workers’ Union and commended the sustainable and considerable measures introduced.  Minister Bonnici stated that “we have introduced a number of much-needed measures which will definitely be beneficial to community officers, as they address better employment conditions, including family-friendly measures and financial increases, whilst also introducing the participation in educational activities and informative meetings for the officers, and to further create awareness on security on the roads”. He concluded by saying that as a government we aim to further strengthen the work done by community officers and thanked them for their hard work amongst our community.
 
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis said that this collective agreement is another step that will continue leading to further positive changes within the LESA Agency. The parliamentary secretary said that this further demonstrates the government’s commitment to further improve this agency and the working conditions of the community officers and the administrative staff. Silvio Parnis said that the main aim of these changes is to bring about more order and serious enforcement.