Written by Tharushan Fernando
05 Aug, 2016 | 9:46 pm
The daily wages of the university non-academic staff, who did not report to work since the start of the strike action, has been cut-off. This decision was reached by the University Grants Commission on Friday.
Deputy Chairman of the UGC, Professor P.S.M. Gunaratne said that leave with no-pay has be approved for those engaged in the strike action.
Non-academic staff across several universities demonstrated on Friday as well and some even received the support of the students councils of the universities.
The UGC on Thursday issued notice for all those engaged in the strike action to report to work today.However, except for several newly-recruited persons, many others had not reported to work.
The University Grants Commission announced that it has decided to provide solutions to several demands made by the non-academic staff. It announced that, the circular to add the Rs.2500 allowance to the basic salary has been prepared and will be forwarded to cabinet for approval next week.
Chairman of the University Non academic Trade Union Joint Committee, Edward Malwattage, however said that they would not support one-sided solutions and was defiant of continuing the strike action. A demonstration took place opposite the University Grants Commission against the decision reached by the UGC.
Joint Chairman of the University Trade Union Joint Committee, Edward Malwattage charged that even though seven demands were discussed with the Minister and the University Grants Commission on a number of occasions, the government and minister only speak of six demands, but none of these demands have been met. “We ask for one thing, but what the minister speaks of is of another”, he said pointing out that a decision needs to be made soon and a solution must be discussed, rather than a punishment
” We do not accept the orders of the UGC Chairman”, he said
Minister of Higher Education ,Lakshman Kiriella alleged that there is a political force in action
He pointed out that six of the seven demands have been granted and the president has said that a solution for the final demand will be made through the budget. But they want it immediately, he stated.
“How can we do that? Are you aware that a clerk in a university earns a monthly wage of Rs. 50,000”, he said
He went on to note that they are waiting for the budget and it is clear that there is a political force behind this. The joint opposition march commenced on the 28th and they commenced their strike action on the 27th, he charged.
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