CEB engineers seek huge surge in management grade salaries

Other unions oppose pay hike ratio, threaten to down tools

By Ifham Nizam

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union yesterday expressed confidence that the Treasury would soon take a decision on proposal that the CEB’s management grade be given a pay hike six times higher than that given to the lowest grade. A senior engineer told The Island yesterday that currently, with the 25 per cent salary hike granted last month was not enough.

Although the engineers spelt out their demand to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a recent meeting, Power and Energy Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka was not in favour of it. However, Power and Energy, Ministry Secretary, M. M. C. Ferdinando sought the approval of the Treasury to grant the engineers’ demand.

The comparison is usually made between the CEB General Manager’s salary and that of the lowest basic salary.

The Island learns that if the engineers’ demand is to be met, the debt ridden CEB will have to incur an additional Rs. 160 million annually.

Power and Energy Ministry Media Secretary, Dhanushka Ramanayake told The Island yesterday according to the CEB circulars, all employees had been given an increase of 25 per cent hike and there will no hike higher than that.

The JVP backed Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sanagamya said on Monday that the CEB employees would resort to trade union action if the salaries of the management level went up as demanded by the engineers.

LVSS Convener Ranjan Jayalal said that the 25 per cent salary hike was given to the management level employees as well.

According to Jayalal, the CEB employees would commence an agitation campaign demanding a 45 per cent salary hike once again if the government decided to approve a higher salary increment for the managerial levels.

Out of nearly 16,000 employees at the CEB, about 1,200 were in senior management positions, he said.

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