CTU challenges Govt.’s need for VAT hike to meet salary demands

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 00:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) yesterday questioned the Government’s assertion that raising the current Value Added Tax (VAT) is necessary to meet the salary increase demands of public servants. 

Addressing a media briefing CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin pointedly asked from where Parliamentarians receive their salaries, benefits and daily allowances for Parliamentary sessions if the VAT hike is truly indispensable.

He accused Parliamentarians of using taxpayers’ money for actions that he deemed destructive. 

“The responsible Ministers do not respond to our requests. We held our sick leave campaign on 26 June, which ended with tear gas and water cannons at Colombo Fort. We continued our strike the following day (27) in protest against the attack,” he stated.

Stalin noted widespread support for the CTU’s campaign from various trade unions within government and semi-Government organisations. 

Consequently, teachers, principals, teacher instructors and Piriven teachers have planned another sick leave campaign for today (9) to press their demands.

“Till 26 June our trade union actions were conducted after 2:00 p.m. to avoid disrupting children’s education. The Government has still not given a positive response, only threats. We will continue our trade union actions until our demands are met,” Stalin said. 

Despite the ongoing sick leave campaign, he assured that practical tests for the GCE Ordinary Level examinations, scheduled to start tomorrow, would not be disrupted. 

“We decided to engage in the practical tests not for the rulers, but for the children,” he added.

He insisted that the upcoming sick leave campaign aims to address the unresolved salary anomalies for teachers and principals and to alleviate the financial burdens on parents for school expenses. 

Stalin urged parents to understand that the campaign is a response to the Government’s failure to meet their demands.