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Thursday, June 30, 2011

President misinformed about demands: FUTA

Daily Mirror 30/06/2011

By Lakna Paranamanna

The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) yesterday charged that it was unfortunate for the President to be unaware of the academics’ real demands.

While responding to a statement, allegedly made by President Rajapaksa claiming that he was not prepared to approve a pay hike of Rs. 200,000 for university academics [Please read the news item,‘I can’t print money to pay dons’], FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri remarked that their current demands do not amount to a Rs. 200,000 increase. “A pay hike of Rs. 200,000 was not included in the salary structure we have recently proposed, he said.

However, he pointed out that this was the figure that was originally agreed upon with the Higher Education Ministry and which was later submitted to the Salaries and Cadres Commission,” he said adding that the highest increase in salary requested by FUTA was the pay raise a senior professor was entitled to which was only Rs. 158,000, that was submitted to the Higher Education Ministry. “There exists only a handful of senior lecturers in our country and the highest payhike was meant for them,” he said while adding that the President should not be making comments without being properly informed about the current situation.

It has been nearly two months since the university academics resigned from the voluntary administrative positions they held in all universities as part of the series of trade union actions carried out to urge the government to grant them a substantial pay hike. Meanwhile, the academics were also to boycott the 2011 A/L evaluation supervision process as part of their trade union action.