Dec 04, Colombo: A token strike launched today by 11 major trade unions of Sri Lankan teachers and principals was successful, a union secretary said.
Ceylon Teachers' Union Secretary Joseph Stalin Fernando said that around 80 percent of the teachers and the principals of the country's schools participated in the strike. Some 215,000 teachers were on strike today, according to Fernando.
He further said that the attempts to sabotage the strike manipulating the pro-government trade unions were unsuccessful.
The trade union leader said that a continuous strike would be launched from January unless the demands of the teachers and principals were granted before that.
The teachers and principals claim that the Education Ministry has failed to rectify salary anomalies, grant salary increments and fulfill transfers and promotions.
The government has not allocated funds from the next year budget to pay salary arrears, the unions complain.
However, the Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Gotabaya Jayaratne, said the trade union action was being carried out while an agreement had been arrived at to grant the demands of the teachers.
Reports from districts Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, and Ampara said that school education was severely disrupted in these districts while a number of schools were closed due to absence of teachers.
However, some officials of the Ministry of Education said that many leading schools in the country functioned normally despite the attendance of the teachers was poor.