ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 9, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 41

Salary increments inadequate: Teachers

By Isuri Kaviratne

Salaries and Cadres Commission report on teachers’ salary anomalies has been rejected by the Ceylon Teachers Service Union, General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said. He said the report was rejected because it did not fulfil the aspirations of the CTSU members and more so while the Commission states that the anomalies were fairly high, however the increments suggested were much less than expected.

“The teachers’ token strike held last Tuesday was mainly for the purpose of highlighting our displeasure with the proposals put forward as a means of solving our long outstanding salary anomalies”, Mr. Jayasinghe said.

He bemoaned that even the increments given to all government servants were not extended to the teachers.“The report also suggests changes to the teacher-service as well. The teacher service which consisted of five grades has been increased to six resulting in more heart burn among the teachers,” the CTSU secretary said and added that this would have been acceptable if the teachers received a reasonable and satisfactory salary increments.

He said because of the introduction of a Supra Grade at the top of the service, the teachers could be stagnated at the Teacher Grade 1 with fewer opportunities of getting a salary increment.“The Commission report makes selection to the Supra Grade difficult as only Supra Grade teachers will be qualified to be appointed as Teacher- In-service advisors,” Mr. Jayasinghe explained.

He said so far the government has not responded to the demands made during the token strike which was largely successful despite government claim to the contrary and though the government adopted various ruses to sabotage the strike its efforts were in vain.

“In some areas, politicians too tried to influence teachers not to strike warning them they will not be selected as invigilators if they joined the token strike while some teachers of a school in Kegalle were forced to attend school.

However, Education Ministry Secretary Nimal Bandara told the Sunday Times the government regretted the CTSU action to launch a token strike at a time the Education Ministry and the Treasury had invited Union representatives to discuss the implementation of the Commission report of SCC.

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