By Sarasi Paranamanna
The Federation of the University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) vowed they would not call off trade union action scheduled for 4 July unless a favourable response is given to all of FUTA’s concerns which have been notified to the Minster of Higher Education S.B.Dissanayake.
President of FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri made this statement in the backdrop of Dissanayake’s promise to increase salaries of University academics. However Dr. Devasiri speaking to Ceylon Today said getting a salary hike is not their only concern.
“We have not been informed about the salary hike yet. We have received enough and more promises from the Minster but none of them have been put into action. Also getting a salary increase is not the only concern. We have communicated with the Minster and we have explained our concerns. When we discussed this with the Minister last week we did not receive a positive response and so far we have not been given a favourable response. Unless a favourable response is given to all our concerns we would not call off the strike which is scheduled for 4 July” he said.
Commenting on Dissanayake’s statement which said the salary hike granted for university academics is an ‘abnormal’ one, Dr. Devasiri said it is none other than the Higher Education Minister himself who said in Parliament last July that in order to keep ‘good academics in the state universities they have to be granted a salary of Rs 200,000.
“This is how he looked at the issue in July last year. So it is up to the public to decide as to why and how he is making statements which says that the academics are given an ‘abnormal’ salary hike” he said