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News  


 

FUTA on the warpath again!
By Arthur Wamanan
The University teachers have warned of more public protests if the government failed to address their salary demands, Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) said.
The FUTA had expressed disappointment on the failure of the government to address its salary issues in the budget proposals. Spokesperson for the Association and the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Open University, Dr. Mahim Mendis told The Nation the government had not honoured the understanding reached with them on the salary increase.
“The understanding was that the salaries would be increased by 20% to be on par with Central Bank remuneration. The Central Bank has the best salaries among the public sector,” he said. “We have been habitually undermined by successive governments,” he said.
However, the Higher Education Ministry said there was no reason for FUTA to be disappointed. “There is a separate section in the budget that says that the salary anomalies of the academic and non-academic staff will be rectified. How can they say that their demands have been ignored?” asked the Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne.
Mendis further said the government was pushed to a situation where it needed to stop brain drain. The FUTA plans to write to the Higher Education Ministry and President Mahinda Rajapaksa on their concerns.
“We will hold public protests together with other civil society activists in the 24 districts and enlighten the people on the issue. There cannot be a greater priority to the government than higher education,” Mendis said.