Oct 12, Colombo: The discussion held between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the teachers’ and principals’ trade unions today at the Prime Minister’s office ended without a solution, according to the trade union representatives.
The Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said that a decision regarding the Prime Minister’s proposal presented to pay salaries in two stages will be taken after discussions tomorrow (13) morning.
At the discussion this afternoon, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated that the government will agree to increase salaries in two stages as a solution to the struggle by the trade unions to eliminate teacher-principal salary anomalies.
The Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Unions have been engaged in this struggle for 93 days today demanding the elimination of salary anomalies.
The Prime Minister, who intervened to resolve the issue, summoned the representatives of the Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Unions to Temple Trees today and presented the resolution.
Accordingly, as recommended by the Ministerial Sub-Committee appointed to eliminate the salary anomalies of the teachers and principals, the Prime Minister proposed to increase the salary by three tranches - in the first phase through the budget of 2022 and the remaining two tranches by the budget of 2023 in the same year.
The Prime Minister said that the government was sensitive to the problem of teachers and principals and accepted that salary anomalies should be eliminated.
The Premier said their requests could not be granted at once as the revenues to Treasury were limited due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
He told trade union representatives that the government was proposing a solution to the problem based on the need to continue the education of children without further hindrance.
The Prime Minister also stated that the decisions taken by the Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers headed by Minister Dullas Alahapperuma on 09 August 2021 will be implemented in the future.
Accordingly, other recommendations including the publication of the provisions relevant to declare the services of teachers, teacher advisors and principals as a closed service in November, will be implemented within six months.
Chairperson of Sri Lanka Podujana Education Services Union Wasantha Handapangoda said that their union agreed with the proposals.
Minister of Education Dinesh Gunawardena, trade union leaders, ministers and government officials participated in the discussion.