Friday, August 31, 2012

Dons snub govt. stick to their main demands

The Island, by Dasun Edirisinghe, August 30, 2012, 12:00 pm

Although the Cabinet of ministers had decided to establish a special category of service for university lecturers and appoint a high-powered committee to monitor the implementation of proposals submitted by the university lecturers, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) has refused to give up its on-going strike.

FUTA president Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island they would not suspend the trade union action until all demands were met, practically.

The Cabinet of ministers on Wednesday night endorsed the views expressed in the joint memorandum, submitted by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse and Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayaka that university teachers should be treated as a special category.

The Cabinet also decided to appoint a high-powered committee to monitor the implementation of the proposals agreed between the university academic staff and the authorities concerned.

It was also agreed that there should be an effective dialogue with the university academics and they acknowledged the need to make university academics active players in the development strategy of the government.

Dr. Devasiri said they would not accept those decisions as the government had forgotten the several other demands submitted by them.

"The cabinet did not talk about our salary hike or allocating 6 per cent of the GDP for education," he said.

The FUTAchief said that those Cabinet decisions were included in the Mahinda Chinthanaya policy document, too, but were yet to be implemented.

Dr. Devasiri said that they would not stop the ongoing strike until all their demands were met.

FUTA’s main demands are the allocation of 6 per cent of the GDP for education, consulting them when decisions are made on the higher education system and a pay hike.

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