Teachers' union divided

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
A large section of teachers in Batticaloa's Eastern University accused some members of their teachers' association of whipping up regional sentiments and blocking development after they formed a new union this afternoon.

About ten members of the Eastern University Teachers' Association which until today was the official union , meanwhile, picketed this noon against the Vice Chancellor of the University, Rev. Prof. Guy Rajendram.

They were protesting against the appointment of the dean of the faculty of agriculture. Trouble has been brewing for months in the university over this appointment.

The members of the new union which has been named Eastern University Democratic Teachers Union say that several teachers have been banding together on crucial issues to unfairly push and promote their interests to the detriment of the Batticaloa university's development.

They also say that power was concentrated in the hands of a few who kept their hold on the university unchallenged by denying membership to teachers whose appointments are yet to be confirmed.

Most of the temporary lectures awaiting confirmation are graduates of the Eastern University. The new union formed today has admitted these teachers also as members. Hence it has forty members whereas the other has twenty seven.

"The old coterie is now trying to muscle the Vice Chancellor into accepting their line on the appointment of the agriculture dean" said a union member.

The new union backs the Vice Chancellor.


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