Colombo Municipal workers to stage protest today

Changes to cadre positions lead to dispute

by Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Colombo Municipal Council staff, up in arms over the proposed changes to the Council’s Cadre positions, will stage a picket at 12 noon today (05) opposite the Town Hall.

The changes had been introduced with effect from the beginning of last month without consulting the council’s members, workers alleged.

The main tussle is between the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) officers and the Council professionals who feel that they are being undermined by SLAS. Sources said that earlier the Municipal Commissioner’s post could have been filled by any of the professionals working in the council. However, according to the new rules, only an SLAS officer is entitled to apply for the position and there will be six deputy commissioners. A large number of new SLAS positions had been created in the CMC and now it was top heavy with a minimum number to cater to the grassroots level of the city, workers said.

Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil, when contacted, said that the issue was being addressed. After every five years there was a cadre change in every government department.

The Salaries and Cadre Commission has sent the CMC a directive. "However we have not been very happy with their recommendations and have informed the SCC of our position," the Mayor said.

The SCC has given the CMC some time to come up with amendments.

Muzammil said that every department had been asked to make its representations for the required amendments to be made. There would also be a special Council meeting on the matter, he added.

The Convener of the picket, Councilor, Mahinda Kahandagama could not be contacted for comment.

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