Unions give one-week deadline to Govt.
Public sector trade unions have given a week’s deadline to the Government to restore the pension scheme and provide a pay increase for private sector workers. The move came as the main body moving towards trade union action broadened its network to cover Customs and other unions. At present it covers the administrative services, doctors, engineers and accountants.
Dr, Nimal Kannangara, Chairman of the Union of Executive officers in All Island Services told the Sunday Times “We have begun signing agreements with other trade unions.” He said their main demand was about anomalies created as a result of the budget proposals.
This week, representatives of 59 trade unions met Treasury Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga and Prime Minister’s Secretary Saman Ekanayaka to assess the steps taken to implement the assurances given to them. The union representatives were assured that one of the key demands of considering Rs. 2,500 of an allowance of Rs 10,000 granted to the public sector employees as part of the basic salary will be implemented this week.
“We have been promised that the circular will be issued by Tuesday. We are awaiting the implementation of it,” National Trade Union Alliance Convenor Saman Ratnapriya said. However, another proposal that the present pension scheme for the public sector employees should remain unchanged had been referred to another committee and talks were due to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, he said.
He said their unions also had sought responses for their other demands including providing a mechanism that a minimum salary increase of Rs. 2,500 be granted to the private sector employees.
“We are expecting several gazette notifications to be issued in respect of the assurances given. If they are not issued by the end of the week we will have discussions with the unions and decide on what action should be taken,” he said.
Ceylon Bank Employees Union (CBEU) President S.P. Jayaratne said they would resort to trade union action after January 25, if the demands, most of them concerning the banking sector, were not met by the end of this week.