Teaching unions protest against discriminatory decision

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 July 1999, 20:35 GMT]
Seven Tamil and Muslim teaching trade unions unanimously decided today to picket the offices of the North east Provincial Ministry of Education and the Department of Education in Trincomalee on the Morning of July 26 to protest against what they see as a discriminatory pay award.

The central Ministry of Education decided that a treasury allowance of Rs.150 million should be used to pay the salary and risk allowance arrears of Sinhala teachers in Amparai in full while the remainder would be shared out between Tamil and Muslim teachers in the rest of the province. According to the proposed plan Tamil and Muslim teachers would also receive their arrears in instalments while the Sinhala teachers would receive a lump sum payment.

The Ceylon Tamil Teacher's Unioun (CTTU) had previously decided to launch a one day strike by teachers, principals and non academic staff on July 29 in relation to other issues including the transport of teaching material into LTTE held areas and factual and grammatical mistakes in Tamil textbooks.

The decision to move the protest to July 26 was taken after seven Tamil and Muslim teachers' unions held an unexpected meeting at the Trincomalee Vigneswara Maha Vidyalayam this evening.

The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union; the North East province Tamil Teachers Alliance; the North East General Teachers Union; the Trincomalee District Principals' Association; the Ceylon Teachers' Congress; the Ceylon Islamic Teachers' Union and the Trincomalee Graduate Teachers' Union have now joined hands to fight against the Minister of Education's decision, sources said.

Officials attached to the Provincial Ministry of Education and the Department of Education in Trincomalee will not be allowed to enter their offices until the Minister's education is revoked, sources said.

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