Written by Zulfick Farzan
18 Oct, 2021 | 11:33 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Teachers – Principals Trade Union Alliance announced that striking teachers and principals will report to work from Monday, 25th October 2021.
Venerable Yalwela Panyasekara Thero, the Chairperson of the All Ceylon United Teachers Union told reporters on Monday (18) that all Teachers and Principals Trade Unions will go on strike on the 21st and 22nd of October.
Trade Union Leader Joseph Stalin said a series of trade union actions will be carried out ahead of the Budget Speech on the 12th of November 2021.
Another Trade Union Chief Mahinda Jayasinghe told reporters challenged the government to re-open schools on the 21st of October 2021, as planned.
Since July 2021, Teachers and Principals have been protesting for almost 99 days all around the country, in an unprecedented show of force.
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
The Government has promised to pay one-third of the teachers’ salary demands and in two stages—the first in January 2022 and the second in 2023.
The union leaders said they would announce their decision the following day, after a “lengthy discussion” among themselves, and decided to continue their strike action.
These developments confirm that the ongoing action of 250,000 government school teachers and principals across the country—the longest strike in Sri Lanka in recent times—has reached a critical juncture.
In parliament in early October, Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardene said the ongoing teachers’ salary crisis would be resolved via the 2022 Budget.
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