Sunday, June 17, 2012

FUTA to take TU action

Ceylon Today, Date:2012-06-14 15:41:00

By Aisha Nazim

University lecturers will launch aggressive trade union action from 4 July, for a number of unresolved issues in the university sector, asserted the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA).

Addressing a media briefing, FUTA president Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said the FUTA has warned the Higher Education Ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) that the lecturers would agitate if the demands they put forward to the government are not met.

The academics’ demands were that the Higher Education Ministry should consult the lecturers before making any reforms in the university system, that the academics should receive better salaries and benefits, and for private universities to be abolished. In addition, the FUTA also demanded that at least 6% of the GDP should be allocated for the education sector.

“We withheld trade union action last year based on an agreement with the government, in which President Rajapaksa himself promised to look into our issues. However, it’s nearly one year now, and the agreement has been violated as the government has made no effort to fulfill their promises to us,” said Dr. Devasiri.

The universities are in chaos, with the non-academic community on strike and the students also agitating against the lack of resources and against student suppression, he said, urging the government to seriously consider the appeals of the university community.

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