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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Is the FUTA ready for an Interim Solution?


It may be opportune to discuss what FUTA's Interim Solution should be. Let us all know what we want. The FUTA struggle for dignified salaries has shown that that the entire public education system in Sri Lanka is in danger. It is evident that FUTA’s responsibility has outgrown its initial commitment. It cannot escape this reality.

Its original demands were:

1. The immediate implementation of the salary proposals made by Jeffrey-Malik Ranasinghe committee which was approved by the UGC and ministry of high education and handed over to the National Salaries and the Cadres Commission by the UGC on 8th September 2008 and to Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President and Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Treasury on 30th August 2010 and summarized in the table-1 below.

2. To place Univerisity academics in a distinct professional category.

3. To increase spending on education, at least up to 6% of the GDP, during the course of the next couple of years.

However it also seems clear that the FUTA may have to settle for an Interim solution. Is the membership of the FUTA ready for such an option? If so do they clearly know what it is? When deciding this, the FUTA membership should recall all its rhetoric and promises of safeguarding the public funded University System of the nation. We should not compromise on our ideals. We should think carefully and not act in haste. Let us formulate what we want carefully. Let us all know what we want.