09 February 2005

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UHM president’s claim denied by Profs Scicluna
By James Debono

It seems that writing reports has become a very dangerous business in early 21st century Malta.
During yesterday’s edition of TV programme Int X’Tahseb hosted by Saviour Balzan and screened on Smash TV, UHM President Gejtu Tanti revealed that he is in possession of a document written by a GWU consultant in which “the GWU consultant had listed all the points on which the CMTU had reached agreement with the government,” during the botched social pact negotiations.
Contacted by The Malta Financial and Business Times, Gejtu Tanti claimed that after negotiations on the social pact had fallen through just before the Budget, the UHM consultant and the GWU consultant had met to break the impasse. According to Tanti, after the meeting the GWU consultant had prepared a document proposing that wage increases should be capped according to Malta’s gross domestic product. The proposal had been rejected by the GWU during the last round of negotiations on the social pact.
Also contacted by this newspaper, Edward Scicluna, who had prepared the document mentioned by Gejtu Tanti, denied that he had done so in the capacity as a GWU consultant. “I am not a consultant to the GWU. The study I was commissioned to carry out, I did as an independent economist.”
Profs Scicluna explained that, “The document in question was a proposed social pact, which I had drafted to help break the impasse in the negotiations between the unions and the employers, after the MCESD negotiations first broken down prior to the Budget. I had approached the three parties including the UHM and the GWU with this document. Among other things, the document did propose that wage increases should be capped by the past rate of GDP growth.”
This is not the first time that the UHM has quoted from reports commissioned by other bodies. Recently the UHM revealed that an MLP draft document for discussion had included a proposal to remove bonuses paid to workers. Following the revelation the PN launched a full-scale attack on the MLP, attributing the proposals prepared by “a panel of experts and consultants” to the MLP itself.

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