The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

SLPA reduces workforce


The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has cut staff from all its operations around the country by 1800 costing the government upto a maximum of approximately Rs. 2 million per person, an official said.

Its current workforce is 10,300 but plans are underway to reduce it by another 300 (through a natural retirement process) by the end of the year. The government has been engaged in a systematic reduction of port staff since 2004 that previously had a workforce of over 20,000.
Out of the 1800 that stepped down under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), 1451 had worked for a maximum of 10 years and 346 were in service for less than five years. This has been carried out with the intention of running the authority at a manageable level without holding onto excess staff, the official said. These measures were initiated due to the new terminal management system introduced two years back to the authority that provides enhanced e-services and improved customer payment without calling at the port, the official explained.

The authority’s 23 divisions have adopted the new system that has resulted in staff being currently re-arranged. Moreover, with port workers granted increased salaries and additional facilities the government has been compelled to take a decision to maintain a staff of only 10, 000 in the future as well, it was pointed out. The Treasury approved a package of a maximum of Rs.2 million to those agreeing to move out. In addition they could claim EPF and ETF prior to 55 years of age together with gratuity that would be provided depending on each one’s service period. However the VRS has been stopped.

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