Broken promises: FUTA girds itself for the fray


By Dasun Edirisinghe

The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) has appointed a three-member committee, under its Ex-Co, to review the progress of the agreement entered into with the government when they stopped their 100-day-long strike last year.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri told The Island that except for two demands the government had failed to honour the promises given by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa in October, 2012, to redress their grievances.

"We will review the progress of the implementation of matters in the agreement at length," the FUTA President said, adding that they would decide on their future course of action at the next Ex-Co meeting after receiving the report on the progress from the three-member committee.

The university autonomy was a main point of the agreement, Dr. Dewasiri said. Politicians meddled with university affairs and the appointment of Colombo Vice Chancellor was a case in point, he alleged.

The senior academic said that Minister Rajapaksa had agreed to appoint a committee consisting of two members from the FUTA to resolve the problems of university teachers, under the Higher Education Ministry, but that promise had not yet been honoured, he said.

"They claim that the delay is due to our failure to appoint two FUTA members to the committee, but we submitted the two names some six months ago," Dr. Dewasiri said.

He said that in the agreement, the government promised to implement a five-year mid-term plan over their salary issues. FUTA expected the government to implement the first step through the November budget.

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