Solution to teachers’ salary problem in two weeks - SB

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said yesterday that the salaries problem of the university teachers would be solved within two weeks. He appreciated university teachers contribution to the leadership training programme despite their submitting resignation letters to vacate their posts.

Addressing a press conference at the University Grants Commission Auditorium, Dissanayake said that there are no funds to increase university teachers’ salaries as the budget did not allocate funds, but anomalies of their salaries would be rectified shortly.

"Most of university teachers, who submitted letters to resign from their posts, attended to lectures of the leadership training programme," he said adding that he appreciate their participation while they were in a trade union action.

However, Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) wants their salaries increased immediately.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island that they had a discussion with a government delegation including Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Higher Education Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne on last Wednesday.

"Our membership agreed to the government’s proposal to solve our problem and the delegation agreed to fulfill our additional demands too," Dr. Devasiri said adding that they informed the government of FUTA’s stance on July 01.

University teachers launched their agitation with a one-day token strike on March 15 and quit voluntarily posts on May 09, in protest against the government’s failure to increase their salaries.

FUTA discussed the problem with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 25, but it ended with no solution in sight.

Caption – Minister S. B. Dissanayake at yesterday’s press conference. Additional Secretary to the UGC Dr. Priyantha Premakumara was present.

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