Meeting between Teacher Trade Unions & Cabinet Sub-Committee, cancelled

Meeting between Teacher Trade Unions & Cabinet Sub-Committee, cancelled

Meeting between Teacher Trade Unions & Cabinet Sub-Committee, cancelled

Written by Amani Nilar

17 Aug, 2021 | 12:08 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The Teachers ‘ and Principals’ Trade Union Alliance stated that the directive issued to them to appear before the Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed to look into the issue of teachers ‘and principals’ salary anomalies was withdrawn on Tuesday (17).

Its representative, the Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin stated that the Cabinet Sub-Committee had earlier instructed him to appear before the committee on Tuesday (17) and present their problems individually.

However, the Ministerial Sub-Committee has informed Stalin on Monday (16) afternoon that the issue will not be taken up and the representatives would be given an opportunity to appear before the Committee on Wednesday (18).

A subcommittee of five ministers was appointed on 9th August to study the teacher-principal salary anomalies and submit a report to the Cabinet.

Its members are Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Mahinda Amaraweera, Wimal Weerawansa, Prasanna Ranatunga and Dullas Alahapperuma.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union, Mahinda Jayasinghe, a representative of the Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Union Alliance stated that an online protest will be launched on Tuesday (17) in parallel to the Teachers’ and Principals’ protest.

On the 12th of July, Fourteen trade unions representing teachers and principals went on strike despite calls from the government to give up their trade union action and continue with teaching activities.

The Trade Unions representing Teachers and Principals are making the following key demands :

01. Permanent solution to the perennial salary anomaly issue.

02. Immediate withdrawal of the Kotelawala Defence University Bill

03. Allocation of 6% of GDP for education

04. Permanent solutions to service issues faced by Principals and Teachers.

05. System for Extra-Curricular Activities attended by Teachers and Principals

How did the issue begin?

The Sri Lanka Teacher’s Service was established in 1994, with each grade bearing a salary similar to other sectors in the public administrative service.

Trade unions say the B.C. Perera Salaries Commission of 1997 and the Lionel Fernando and Saliya Mathew Salaries Commission of 2006 had recommended considering teaching as a separate service.

They pointed out that teachers had not received salary increments in 1997 when the salaries for other sectors had been hiked.

When the matter was referred to the court in 2008, the court had ordered teaching to be considered a separate service.

Trade unions say that the salary increments offered to teachers and principals are not equal to the salaries earned in other sectors.

They outline that the salary of a Grade-1 teacher should increase by about 29,000 rupees if the increments are to be made in line with other services in the public sector.

Under this government, education minister Professor G.L. Peiris had appointed a special committee and obtained recommendations on this matter. A cabinet-sub committee has also been appointed.

Trade Unions have rejected the appointment of the sub-committee noting that the appointment of sub-committees has been taking place for many years under every successive government, with no solution being granted to their issues.

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