Dons’ strike paralyses universities

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Universities all over the country were paralysed yesterday due to a token strike launched by the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) against the proposed private university bill, the delay in rectifying their salary anomalies, etc.

The academic calendar of the universities came to a standstill and some examinations were postponed.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island that their trade union action had been very successful and all universities including Jaffna supported the strike.

He said that their executive committee would meet shortly to decide on a future course of action following a response from the ministry.

"Our main demand is to have the private university bill abolished," he said adding they also demanded an increase in their salaries according to the agreement entered between the FUTA and the Ministry, when they suspended their previous trade union action in July 2011.

Dr. Devasiri said that they also wanted to ensure the allocation of six per cent of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) annually to the education sector, which was also accepted by the ministry officials.

According to him, they held a meeting regarding those issues with the ministry officials on Friday and the next meeting would be held on January 20.

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