The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) called on the Government to set up a proper mechanism which would allow for those lobbying on behalf of their grievances to have their case properly and fairly heard and discussed.
According to President of the FUTA, Dr. Rangika Halwatura, the demands (including of a salary hike) of the non-academics in the entire higher education system within the universities who are presently on strike, was justified.
More than the non-academics and the student undergraduates, it is the lecturers who suffer due to this as once the strike ends and the day-to-day affairs commence, all the missed lectures and practical aspects would have to be conducted again, he opined.
“No official meeting has been granted by the relevant Government agencies or the University Grants Commission to those engaged in the said trade union action,” he noted.
He explained that the education sector, especially the school system had been adversely impacted by the fact that teachers were woefully underpaid.
“We do not want this situation to drag on. The Government is not willing to sort this out and neither do the non-academics have a walk-out plan. The non-academics require a decent salary so that they are satisfied and can perform their job well. At the lower levels of the professional hierarchy, there is no other option but to strike. MPs can overnight obtain their demands,” he said.
“Doctors and academics too have some clout. Yet no one listens to those at the bottom of the ladder,” he observed.