Academics also to strike
June 9, 2012
Amid the countrywide strike by university-nonacademics, university academics said yesterday they would also launch a strike from the first week of July.

The Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) said it had informed the Higher Education Ministry a few weeks ago that university teachers would keep away from work from July 4 onwards because the Ministry had not taken any initiative to grant their long outstanding demands. “We are launching trade union action because of the shabby treatment meted out to us by the government, its false promises and insults. We have had enough of this step-motherly treatment. The government has failed to honour the promises given to the unions,” FUTA spokesman Dr. Mahim Mendis said.

He said university teachers were promised a salary increase and special benefits last year but these have not been granted. Among the several concerns of university teachers was a Cabinet decision saying that children of universities teachers would not be given priority for grade one admissions, the lack of benefits such as housing loans and transport allowances.

Dr. Mendis said a lack of transparency and accountability in education policies and the crucial need to increase government expenditure on education to 6 per cent from the present 1.8 per cent had still not been addressed. He charged that the government had started mushrooming universities without proper quality assurance and accreditation standards.

“Public policy on education should be decided in consultation with the academic community but that has not been the case. The academics need to be opinion leaders because we produce the expertise in the country.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka