UGC not honouring promises – FUTAOctober 15, 2012, 9:53 pm
by Dasun Edirisinghe
The university authorities had still to withdraw some of the circulars, issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC), as promised by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) charged yesterday.
FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri told The Island that they had suspended the strike last Thursday on the basis of such promises.
"One of the major promises was that the circulars issued by the UGC, preventing university teachers from attending to some work, would be withdrawn," he said, adding that those circulars were an impediment to the freedom of university teachers.
Although the secretary to the higher education ministry had sent a letter asking the UGC to cancel those circulars, the UGC had still not done it, Dr. Dewasiri said.
The senior academic said that the higher education ministry had also sent a separate letter to the UGC asking it to pay the salaries of the dons for the past three months.
"But, our salaries, too, are yet to be paid," he said adding that some universities had paid only a salary advance.
FUTA decided to suspend its strike on the assurance of Minister Rajapaksa, but the promises must be honoured as soon as possible, Dr. Dewasiri said.
He said that last year, too, the FUTA suspended its strike following a government’ assurance only to be disappointed.
"This time around we will not get trapped in the same way," Dr. Dewasiri said, adding the FUTA could resume trade union action anytime.
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