The cabinet approval of the recommendations in the joint memorandum submitted by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse and Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayaka is a fraud and university teachers would not suspend the trade union action until all demands were met states Vice-President of Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera.
Speaking to the media Ven. Amila Thera said the document stating the cabinet meeting chaired by the President held at Temple Trees had approved the eight proposals put forward to resolve the university teachers’ issue was handed over to FUTA yesterday (31st) morning. He said the document cannot be trusted for anything and added what the cabinet has approved are other matters but not the demands university teachers had made.
He said the main demand of the university teachers was to increase the allocation for education to 6% of GNP but the cabinet has not approved this. Instead, it has decided to allocate funds for primary, secondary, tertiary, adult, technical and higher education in line with international standards.
University teachers, as a solution for the difficulty in recruiting the academic staff for universities on a special category, asked the government to place them on a higher salary scale. The cabinet has accepted the special category but nothing has been mentioned regarding the salary increase pointed out Ven. Amila Thera.
The cabinet has also ignored the proposal that the committee for categorizing should include a member from FUTA. Instead, the cabinet has stated a member of the university community would be included in the committee. This would allow the government to appoint anyone they would prefer pointed out Ven. Amila Thera. He said the cabinet has ignored all demands made by university teachers.
As such, the document with cabinet approval has been totally rejected by university teachers and they have decided to continue with the strike said Ven. Amila Thera.