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Friday, August 5, 2011

Non-academic staff demand their pound of flesh

The Island 05/08/2011

by Dasun Edirisinghe

In the wake of government agreeing to increase the salaries of university dons, the non-academic staff of universities, have demanded that anomalies in their salaries be rectified immediately.

Hundreds of non-academics staged a protest opposite the University Grants Commission (UGC) in Colombo yesterday demanding immediate rectification of their salary anomalies.

The protest led to a major traffic jam at Ward Place, Town Hall and the surrounding roads during the peak school closure time for the August holidays at noon yesterday.

The protestors held placards with slogans calling upon the government to rectify their salary anomalies soon.

Addressing their members, president of the Inter University Trade Union Federation R. M. Chandrasena said that the government had been ignoring the problem from 2006, but they could not wait anymore.

"Academics alone cannot run universities without their support," Chandrasena said, adding that they take tough trade union action if the government fails to address their problem immediately.

He said that past governments had cheated them and finally the present Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake had promised to rectify their salary anomalies, but so far he had not honoured his promise, but agreed to the demands of teachers.

Chandrapala said that it was unfortunate that the governments did not pay heed to the needs of workers.