Teachers & Principals reject cabinet decision on their issues

Teachers & Principals reject cabinet decision on their issues

Teachers & Principals reject cabinet decision on their issues

Written by Zulfick Farzan

31 Aug, 2021 | 1:57 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Teachers & Principals Trade Union Alliance have rejected the Cabinet decisions on solving their issues. 

On Tuesday (31), it was announced that the Cabinet of Ministers had decided to issue a gazette notification before 20th November 2021 declaring teacher service, teacher advisory service and principal services as closed or inclusive services.

In addition it was decided to implement the salary revisions recommended by the Cabinet Sub-Committee to eliminate the salary anomalies of teachers and principals, in stages through a 2022 budget proposal

Further, the Cabinet of Minister have decided on granting a special allowance of Rs. 5000 for teachers and principals who are on duty during the months of September and October 2021.

The Cabinet of Ministers also decided on taking necessary steps by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Provincial Councils and other relevant authorities to implement the other proposals of the Sub-Committee within 6 months.

According to a document by the Department of Government Information, the Cabinet of Ministers have decided on granting policy approval to implement the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub-Committee.

It added that the Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed to look into the elimination of salary anomalies in teacher-principal services and to make recommendations to the Cabinet of Ministers has discussed with the representatives of 33 Teacher, Principal and Teacher Instructor unions and made its recommendations.

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

However, as discussions with respective authorities have failed to provide permanent solutions to these issues among others.

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 was also appointed.

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