CEB picket to demand delayed pay hike

Sep 3 (IL) The United Trade Unions of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) staged a picket opposite the CEB head office yesterday afternoon to press their demand against the delay in activating a pay hike.

CEB Billing Officers' Union President Priyantha Wickramasinghe said that their salary scales should be revised upward every three year according to the Wanasinghe salary recommendations.

"We had to be given a pay hike by January 1, 2003. However the then UNF government did not increase our salaries. We were only given an allowance of Rs.1200," said Mr. Wickramasinghe.

He said that the salary anomalies in their pay structures exist since 1987 and that Power and Energy Minister Susil Premajayanth promised to increase their salaries by 23 percent.

"The board approval had also been granted. However so far no positive response from the government. That is why we resorted to this trade union action. We expected a salary increase by August," he said.

He said that they withdrew their decision to picket last week due to the pledge given by the minister to take up the matter at the cabinet and work out a solution. But teh Cabinet refused to grant the pay hike.