The non-academic staff members of state universities launched a one-day token strike this morning (Jan.18) in protest of the government’s decision to increase the allowances of lecturers.
Earlier this month, the Cabinet of Ministers green-lighted President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s resolution seeking to increase the study allowance granted to university lecturers by 25%. It was decided that this allowance would be included in their January salary.
However, the University Trade Union Joint Committee has taken issue with this Cabinet decision, complaining that increasing the salaries of lecturers has created unrest among the non-academic staff members. “We urge [the authorities] to raise the salaries and allowances of all in general, if they are going to increase the salaries of the university sector. The government has created this issue.”
Meanwhile, the co-secretary of the Inter-University Trade Union Federation K.L.D.G. Richmond said this token strike is joined by 23 trade unions.
Meanwhile, hospital services were left crippled over the past week as multiple health sector trade unions including paramedical services, supplementary medical services and nursing officers engaged in token strikes, against the Cabinet decision to double the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance paid for government doctors, raising it from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 70,000.