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NewsUniversity lecturers harden stance

University lecturers harden stance


President’s intervention sought

By Arthur Wamanan

University lecturers, threatening to step down from the administrative level if the government fails to increase their salaries are planning to seek President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention for a salary hike.

After their attempt to press the government for an increment failed, the irate lecturers last week decided to inform President Rajapaksa in writing, urging for his immediate involvement.

According to the Federation of the University Teachers Association (FUTA), President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, the situation has now gone out of control and the lecturers are determined to strike harder if their demands are not met.

Members of the FUTA who met last week decided to take alternative action to press the government to increase their salary scale.

The association last year forwarded a set of proposals to revise the existing salary system, but they to date, there has not been any response from the government.

“The government has only increased the salary by 36.25%, which is inadequate,” Dr. Dewasiri pointed out.
It was decided at last week’s meeting to write to President Mahinda Rajapksa personally for his intervention on this issue.

It was also decided that they would step down from the administrative level if the government failed to address their demands.“A particular deadline has not been decided. We would arrive at a decision on this during our future meetings. But, we would resort to this action if the government failed to address our issue,” Dr. Dewasiri said.

Meanwhile, the government said that it had given importance to the lecturers’ salary demands by increasing it by 36.25%.Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that the President had given them due recognition in the budget by increasing their salary by 36.25%.

Higher Education Minister, S.B. Dissanayake in Parliament mid last year said the government would increase the salary of a senior lecturer by Rs. 200,000 from 57,000 and that the basic salary of a lecturer would be increased to 72,000 from Rs. 26,000.

Dr. Dewasiri however said that the current increment had not even come close to the figures mentioned by the Minister in Parliament.

The Nation

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