Teachers TU Action to Continue
BY THAMEENAH RAZEEK
The Trade Union action launched by teachers will continue although the Government has decided to settle salary inconsistencies in teacherprincipal services in the next Budget. However, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, a Co-Cabinet spokesman, stated that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured that the salary disparity will be remedied in the next Budget, which will include solutions.
Minister of Education Prof. GL Peiris also presented a Cabinet paper calling for the elimination of teacher, principal salary anomalies. It also proposed to integrate teacher and principal services into integrated services. The recommendations were examined in detail at a Cabinet meeting and the Finance Ministry reportedly stated that there is currently no way to eliminate compensation disparities.
“We regard teachers as the second ‘God’ and we urge that they continue to serve the children. It has also been found that academic activities are largely carried out in private schools and urban schools.
The hardships are in rural regions and teachers should take them into consideration,” he stated. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and senior officials met teacher unions at Temple Trees yesterday (27).
The meeting, however, ended without a conclusion, and government officials, including the Prime Minister, notified the trade unions that a new Cabinet paper would be presented next week and unions said the online strike would continue until then. Also, rather than announcing that their problems will be handled in the next Budget, State officials announced the formation of a Cabinet subcommittee, which trade unions oppose.
General Secretary to the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Stalin said they disagreed with the forming of a subcommittee as no answer will be forthcoming and the problem gets lengthier.