Non-academic staff on indefinite strike in 15 universities

Twenty trade unions representing non-academic staff commenced an indefinite strike in 15 universities, yesterday (10), demanding that the Ministry of Higher Education implement the agreements reached in 2016.

The strike has crippled the entire university system, the unions claim. They previously launched a 48-hour token strike, on August 28 and 29, and warned that they would launch an indefinite strike from 10 Sept.

Unions say that the salary anomaly was created after the government raised public sector wages by Rs.10, 000 in 2016. The increase was to be added to the basic salary in stages across five years till 2020. They claim that the basic salary of a public sector employee should increase by 107% from December 2015 to January 2020. However, the salaries of those in the university sector will only rise by 92 percent, creating a salary anomaly, the unions say.

Administrative officers, too, had launched a sick note campaign from yesterday, the Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association said.

They demanded solutions to problems such as salary anomalies and political interference. Unless their problems were solved they would be compelled to intensify their trade union action, secretary of the association Rohana de Silva told the media, on Monday.

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