Governor releases discriminatory pay awards

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 July 1999, 15:33 GMT]
The Governor of the North East Province (NEPC), Major General Asoka Jayawardene, has instructed his provincial education officials to carry out the central ministry's order and pay risk allowance and salary arrears to teachers and principals in Ampara Sinhala zone first, in full, from the allocation of 150 million rupees released by the treasury last week.

The Governor told the Provincial Ministry of Education to send 28 million rupees to the Ampara zonal director on Monday morning and then share out the remaining money between Tamil and Muslim teachers and principals in the rest of the province.

Mr.Sundaram Divakalala, Provincial Secretary to the Ministry of Education said that Ampara teachers would be paid risk allowance for 12 months in 1998, principals would be paid salary arrears for 12 months in 1995 and salary arrears would also be paid to trained teachers from Grade 11 to Grade 1 in full, in line with the central ministry's decision.

Mr.Divakalala further said that teachers in the remaining 23 zones of the province would be paid seven or eight months risk allowance with the balance of the money. No money is available to pay salary arrears to principals, trained teachers and the remaining four months risk allowance for 23 zones, said Mr.Divakalala.

Meanwhile, Tamil and Muslim teacher-trade unions in the North east decided to launch another one-day sick note strike condemning the government's unjust decision. The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Unioun (CTTU) General Secretary, T.Mahasivam, said that the one day sick note strike would take place on July 29 in the North east province.

When a delegation from the CTTU met the Deputy Minister of Education on Wednesday last week they were told that the treasury had released Rs. 150 million to be paid as risk allowance and salary arrears to teachers in the North east province.

However on Thursday, the Minister of Education told a delegation of teachers from the Ampara education zone that their arrears would be paid in full from the treasury allocation while the Tamil and Muslim teachers would be paid from the balance in instalments.

Following protests from teachers' trade uniouns, the Governor of the NEPC had initially prevented the treasury allocation from being cashed and shared out unequally amongst teachers in the North east.


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