By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
The Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Union said yesterday its members would launch a 24-hour countrywide token strike today.
Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin said the union had informed the authorities about the strike and pointed out that any inconvenience caused to students and parents should be referred to the Education Ministry.
“The token strike will affect 10,162 schools countrywide. Some 241,000 teachers and 15,000 principals will participate in the token strike,” he said.
Mr. Stalin said the teachers and principals would be on sick leave.
“They are demanding a salary increase and the rectification of salary anomalies since 1997. They are also demanding the release of teachers and principals from time-wasting paper filling work and that six per cent of the GDP be allocated for education,” he said.
“Seventeen trade unions including the CTU will join the token strike bringing all state schools to a standstill.”
Education Ministry Secretary Pathmasiri Jayamanne when contacted said he was not informed about the strike.
He told Daily Mirror that the ministry was not in a position to increase salaries on the basis that the ministry could not take independent decisions.
“A set of proposals has been submitted to the Special Salaries Commission, the Treasury and the Ministry of Finance. It is left to them to increase salaries. I have explained this to the trade unions during the several discussions held with them,” Mr. Jayamanne said. “There will be no salary increases at this point. However, I have informed the authorities to look into the matter about the unnecessary paperwork. I request the education sector trade unions not to take hasty decisions and stop work.”