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Govt. orders striking non-academic staff to report to work

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  • Higher Education Ministry agrees to strikers’ 10% livelihood allowance increase demand

The Ministry of Higher Education yesterday (11 April) ordered all striking non-academic staff of all universities to report to work before 17 April, after agreeing to the strikers’ main demand of increasing the livelihood allowance by 10%. 

In a circular issued yesterday, the Ministry of Higher Education said that all non-academic staff members, who are probationary, temporary, casual, substitute, training, on service assignments and serving on a contract basis, will be considered as having vacated the post if they do not report to work before 17 April.

The Ministry announced that for all permanent employees of all universities, who do not report to work before 17 April and continue the strike, the duration of their strike will be considered as a no-pay period, according to the Commission Circular No. 890 issued on 2017-06-07.

The Ministry further said that, as a result of the discussions between the striking trade unions and Higher Education and Highways Minister Kabir Hashim on the main demand of the strike to increase the livelihood allowance by 35%, the Treasury has agreed to increase the allowance by 10%, with the consent of the unions.

The Minister also had agreed to appoint an independent committee to study the other demands, including pension payments to retired non-academic staff and establishing a general insurance policy. The Joint Trade Union Committee had agreed to this measure as well.

The Government has stressed the necessity to open universities immediately, providing the environment for students to continue their studies without disruptions.

Since the main demand for the strike has already been met, the Ministry has ordered all employees of the non-academic staff of all universities to return to work on or before 17 April.

More than 15,000 non-academic workers from 15 Sri Lankan State universities launched an indefinite strike on 28 February, making six demands including: a 20% wage rise, a language proficiency allowance, increased concessionary loans, the introduction of medical insurance and a pension scheme.

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