Universities hit a brick wall amid non-academic staff strike

By Sheain Fernandopulle

Universities across the nation have come to a virtual standstill as the ongoing strike by non-academic staff intensifies.  

The strike has forced the cancellation of all lectures on campus with universities now transitioning to online lectures in an attempt to continue providing education to students.   

However, exams are likely to be postponed, causing significant disruptions to the academic calendar.  

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee of University Trade Unions (JCUTU) announced that they have decided to escalate their strike action due to prolonged delays in addressing their demands.  

Co-Chairman of JCUTU, Dhammika S. Priyantha, stated that the association unanimously agreed to withdraw from all voluntary services within universities. This includes crucial services such as the supply of water and electricity, as well as internet facilities, which are essential for both academic and administrative operations.  

“These disruptions will significantly impact various operations within the university system,” Priyantha emphasized.   
“The authorities should take full responsibility for the destruction of samples maintained at the laboratory level in the university system. This kind of thing is happening to the university system because of the actions of this government. If the administration continues to avoid it, we should also rethink about activities that we voluntarily carry out in the university.”  

In response to the escalating crisis, chairman of the University Grants Commission Senior Professor Sampath Amaratunge, said “Although the non-academic staff is on strike these days, academic staff are providing education to students online.  

However, he urged all employees to prioritize their work and focus on educating students.  


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