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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FMTA calls on govt. to redress FUTA issues

The Daily Mirror, 29/06/2011,

The Faculty of Medicine Teachers Association (FMTA) of Colombo yesterday urged authorities to redress immediately issues faced by university lecturers and particular the wider issues voiced by the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) in general.

“We pledge or whole hearted support to the demands placed by FUTA,” the FMTA said in a statement.

FMTA is the trade union representing the academic staff of Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.

The statement further said: ‘In the past, there was no financial discrepancy between the university medical teachers and our colleagues in the Ministry of Health. However, the academic allowance that we are paid has fallen short over the years to bridge the discrepancy between university medical teachers and Health Ministry doctors.’

‘In addition, there have been various other perks that our members are deprived of, when compared with our Ministry of Health colleagues, such as the communication bill payment, language allowance, and extra duty payment. Our non-medical members have to stay for 12 years to obtain a car permit whereas health ministry doctors could obtain a permit after 6 years of service’.

‘The recent changes to the administration of the consolidated fund related to our EPF and ETF has made us undergo further sacrifices amounting to considerable financial loss. Due to the above disparities we are certain that the universities will not only be unable to attract suitable academics, but will not even be able to retain the existing staff. As experts, and sometimes the only expert in the country in their respective fields, our members can easily find employment both in the private sector within the country or overseas for much lucrative remuneration’.

‘We fear that if the above disparities are not addressed urgently the country’s higher education system will fall apart in the face of the growing competition from the private sector. This, in turn, will deal a heavy blow to the government’s plan to move towards a knowledge economy, towards which the contribution of the country’s higher education system is undisputed’.