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Friday, July 22, 2011

FUTA suspends TU action

The Island 22/07/2011

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday evening suspended its two-month-long protest campaign after the Higher Education Ministry agreed to grant two of its demands and negotiate the other on Wednesday.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island that the decision to suspend their protest had been taken at a FUTA Executive Committee meeting.

University teachers resorted to trade union action to pressure the government to rectify their salary anomalies, beginning with a one-day token strike on March 15. They quit voluntarily administrative posts in universities on May 09.

Dr. Devasiri said that Higher Education Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne had agreed to appoint a committee to find lasting solutions to the university teachers’ problems and cancel a circular issued by the University Grants Commission preventing university dons from resigning from the posts they voluntarily held without giving a three-month notice.

The FUTA Chief said that Dr. Navaratne had agreed to explore the possibility of incorporating their research allowances into the basic salaries.

Dr. Devasiri warned that failure on the part of the government to keep its promise would compel FUTA to resume its trade union action.