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Thursday, July 21, 2011

FUTA wins two demands

The Island 21/07/2011

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) last night said that the Higher Education Ministry had agreed to grant two of its demands and to negotiate the other one.

FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island that his outfit had put forth three demands when it met Treasury’s Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera on Monday. They were the appointment of a committee to find lasting solutions to the university teachers’ problems, cancellation

of a circular issued by the University Grants Commission debarring university dons from resigning from the posts they voluntarily held without giving three-month notice and the incorporation of their research allowances into the basic salaries.

Dr. Devasiri said that higher education secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne had agreed to grant the first two demands.

However, Dr. Devasiri said FUTA trade union action was on and the Higher Education Ministry decision would be discussed at the FUTA executive committee meeting scheduled for today.

University teachers launched their trade union action with a one-day token strike on March 15 and quit voluntarily posts on May 09, in protest against the government’s failure to rectify their salary anomalies.

FUTA had discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 25, but to no avail.

Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake told a press conference yesterday that the university teachers’ salary dispute would be settled in the course of this week.