Monday, June 27, 2011

Govt. scowls at FUTA demonstration

The Nation, 26/06/2011, By Arthur Wamanan
State officials scowled upon last week’s demonstration by the university academics, saying “we are both trying to come to an agreeable solution, and these kinds of demonstrations are not helping.”
The Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) meanwhile are preparing for a second march next month.
Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne told The Nation that the government was committed to resolve the salary issue of the university teachers through negotiations. “It will be better if they could refrain from organising such things at this time,” Nawaratne said.
The FUTA had handed a set of proposals to the government on June 17. The teachers had demanded that their salaries be increased according to the UGC Act of 2008 at the next budget reading
“This increase has to be done in three stages. We have mentioned them clearly in our proposals to the government. The fourth step is to equate our salaries to that of the Central Bank. We have not given a time frame for that,” said FUTA spokesperson, Dr. Mahim Mendis.
Nawaratne said that the proposals had been handed over to the Salaries and Cadre Commission and the Treasury Department for their approval.
“We went through the proposals submitted them to the relevant authorities. We are awaiting their approval,” he said.
Mendis however said they were not yet informed of the progress except for the verbal assurance by Higher Education Minister, S.B. Dissanayake, that the matter would be solved soon.
The next march will be held in Anuradhapura and organised by the Rajarata University teachers.