FUTA to join several other unions
Aug 14, 2012
In another bid to win their demands, university teachers would join hands with trade union organisations, parliamentarians, civil society organisations, parents and university students tomorrow (15th) at a public meeting on the university crisis, the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) said.

The public meeting would be addressed by Chief Prelate of the Kotte Nagaviharaya Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and attended by teachers unions, doctors and nurses unions, plantation unions, Ceylon Electricity Board unions and several others. UNP and JVP parliamentarians would also attend the meeting, FUTA Spokesman Dr. Mahim Mendis said.

Higher Education Ministry officials said they were still in the midst of discussions in deciding how the demands could be met but said that certain demands made by FUTA were not realistic and required policy changes that could not practically be done.

Minister S.B. Dissanayake said their demands were impractical and that the ministry could not give into unions demands as they wished. Dr. Mendis said during the gathering that issues involving the university system, including discrepancies in teachers’ salaries, university autonomy, Z score issues, an increase in government expenditure up to 6% of GDP and a 20% increase in salaries which was promised to university teachers were some of the concerns that would be dealt with during the meeting.

He said the FUTA Executive Committee which met yesterday had unanimously agreed that the government should address the crisis without further delay. “There has been a very clear agreement between the government and FUTA on how these problems should be addressed. We demand that the government honours its own word,” Dr. Mendis said. He said after the unions met with United Nations representatives in Sri Lanka they had garnered a lot of local as well as international support and were determined to win their demands. Universities have been on a continuous strike since July 4.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka