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Thursday, June 23, 2011

F.U.T.A. to continue agitation until it recieves firm assurance from govt.

The Island 23/06/2011

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) will continue its ongoing trade union action until it received a genuine assurance from the government with regard to FUTA proposals aimed at resolving the salary issue.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that they wouldn’t suspend trade union action on the basis of promises, but needed tangible action on the part of the government. Devasiri was speaking to The Island after having a four-hour discussion with Higher Education Minister S.B.Dissanayake on Tuesday night at the minister’s residence at Battaramulla.

Responding to a query, Devasiri said that Tuesday’s discussion centered on a four-point plan submitted by the FUTA to Higher education Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne.

Higher Education Minister Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne and seven FUTA members participated at the discussion.

Dr. Devasiri said they primarily discussed the first point in the four-point plan aimed at resolving the salary issue.

"Minister asked us to stop the trade union action within a week and he would take the initiative to implement the first part of our proposal," Dr. Devasiri said that their plan needed the support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

FUTA members launched a protest march on Tuesday afternoon in Colombo to pressure the government over the issue.

University teachers launched their agitation with a one-day token strike on March 15 and quit voluntarily posts on May 09, in protest against the government’s failure to increase their salaries.

FUTA discussed the problem with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 25, but it ended with no solution in sight.

Dr Navaratne said that discussions were fruitful.