Monday, July 30, 2012

FUTA says not informed about Minister’s call

The Island,   

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday said that they had not been informed by official letter to report to work today (30) by the Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake.

FUTA spokesman Dr. Devaka Weerakoon told ‘The Island’ that even if they were officially asked to report to work, they would not do it until a permanent solution to their demands was found.

FUTA has been on strike from July 04 demanding an annual six per cent allocation of the GDP for education, that they be consulted when taking decisions on higher education and a pay hike.

Dr. Weerakoon said that Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, too, broke his promise and they were not invited for talks at the Presidential Secretariat after the second round of talks.

"We will announce serious decisions next week on our strike," he said adding that those decisions were still being discussed by the FUTA executive committee.

The senior academic said that they conducted a seminar to educate school teachers on the matter last Saturday in Colombo.

More than 500 teachers countrywide participated in the seminar on FUTA’s invitation, he said.

Dr. Weerakoon said that their teams from Sri Jayewardenepura and Ruhuna Universities were engaged in collecting signatures for a petition against the government at Kataragama yesterday and it would continue during the Perahera season.

Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, when contacted by The Island said that they would inform FUTA officially to return to work soon.

However, FUTA had asked for a meeting with Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and the ministry would coordinate it, he said.

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