CEB engineers get their pound of flesh


By Ifham Nizam

Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundra has given in to the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) demand that the salary ratio between the management and non-management grades be restored.

Following the recent 25 per cent salary increase given to all CEB employees, the earlier ratio had eroded.

The union bypassed Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and demanded an increment eight times that of the lowest grades to restore the ratio.

The ratio-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.

The letter rectifying the anomaly is expected to be issued today.

The Engineers’ trade union on March 15 announced that they had launched a work-to-rule to win its demands.

Media Spokesperson of the Electricity Engineers’ Union Ajith Withanage said that they had resorted to the trade union action because they had not received a favourable response from authorities regarding their salary anomalies issue.

However, they would continue the campaign till they got the letter.

The engineers said that they would not engage in any duty beyond working hours and predicted that the move would affect the normal functioning of the CEB.

Meanwhile, other trade unions of the CEB opposed moves to increase the salaries of staff officers only and demanded counter increases if the management salaries were revised.

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 were increased as demanded by the engineers.

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