A discussion is scheduled to be held today (18) between the University Grants Commission (UGC) and representatives of the University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC) to address the latter’s wage issues.

UTUJC co-chairman Dhammika S. Priyantha emphasized that the strike action, now in its 48th day, will continue until proper solutions are provided by the authorities.

Underscoring the urgency of finding an immediate solution, Priyantha stated that if the UGC also fails to offer adequate solutions, the trade union action will persist.

Education Minister Susil Premajayantha commented on the situation, noting that there had been an agreement to address the wage concerns of university non-academic staff next year. 

He mentioned that “a second request came after the increase of the academic allowance for non-academic staff.”

Premajayantha further explained that there was no budget allocation for these adjustments, and that they are attempting to manage the situation using the remaining funds of the UGC and through various discussions. 

He highlighted that the UGC is unable to make such payments without the agreement of the Treasury, and expressed hope that the trade unions and the UGC would reach an agreement. 

Premajayantha also stated that a roadmap would be provided to the trade union in writing to resolve the wage issues and assured that wages would be paid once the staff returned to work.