By Lakna Paranamanna
More than 90 per cent of those in university administration countrywide have tendered their resignation letters to the authorities resulting in administrative functions of universities on the verge of a breaking down, Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) said yesterday.
The FUTA said heads of departments, coordinators of units as well as hostel wardens and centre directors have tendered their resignation letters as part of the trade union action urging the government to give a substantial salary increase to university academics.
FUTA President Nirmal R. Dewasiri said by yesterday a majority of officials holding administrative positions in almost all the universities including Colombo, Moratuwa, Jaffna, Eastern, Ruhuna and Sri Jayewardenepura and the Nawala Open University had handed in their resignation letters.
“We have not received any favourable response from the authorities except for a circular from the University Grants Commission claiming that resignations should be given with three months notice. But it is a futile move as section 51 (III) of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978 does not refer to the resignation process,” Dr. Dewasiri said.
He said university teachers have been asking the government for a pay hike since last year and added that academics in Sri Lanka had one of the lowest salary scales in South Asia.
Dr. Dewasiri said if the government failed to provide a reasonable solution to the issues faced by the academics they would refrain from attending to the 2011 A/L evaluation process as part of their trade union action.