University academics announce all-out strike from July 04May 29, 2012, 12:00 pm
by Dasun Edirisinghe
University lecturers decided yesterday to launch an all out strike from July 04 if the Higher Education Ministry does not resolve their grievances and grant them a salary hike.
They also decided to vacate from all the services provided by them to the Education Ministry until their children are admitted to popular schools.
President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island that they took the decision at the FUTA executive committee meeting held at the Colombo University.
He said that the Higher Education Ministry took them for a ride with promises but none of their demands had been met so far.
Dr. Devasiri said that they informed their demands to the Ministry several times and President Mahinda Rajapaksa too broke his promise to grant them a pay hike through the budget 2012.
"We asked that 6 per cent of the GDP be allocated to the education sector and government agreed to it," he said adding that so far the government had not taken any positive step to do so.
The senior academic said that they asked the higher education ministry to consult them when taking action regarding the higher education system, especially amending and drafting new Acts. "The ministry agreed, but they have not consulted us on any matter,"he said adding that the higher education minister repeatedly had said at public meetings that they would go forward and establish private universities but they did not consult university lecturers on that matter either.
If there was no positive response from the ministry before July 04 they would launch a continuous strike, he said.
The latest issue, he said, was the refusal of the Education Ministry to admit their children to popular schools violating the previous quota for university teachers.
"When our members went to the Education Ministry to discuss the matter, the education secretary summoned the police," Dr. Devasiri said.
He said that finally the education secretary alleged that university lecturers threatened him with death and UGC Chairman called for a report on a lecturer attached to the Sri Jayewardenepura University.
Until such harassments were stopped, university teachers would keep away from services to the Education Ministry including paper marking, Dr. Devasiri said adding FUTA executive committee endorsed all the decisions at yesterday’s meeting.
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Last Updated Jun 19 2013 | 12:00 pm