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‘Don’t ask for what we get’, FUTA tells non-academics

‘Don’t ask for what we get’, FUTA tells non-academics

17 May 2024 | BY Sumudu Chamara

While expressing support to the university non-academic employees’ right to fight for their rights and demands as any other union, the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) noted however that attempting to justify some of the former’s demands based on a comparison between the allowances that the two groups – academics and non-academics – are entitled to, is unacceptable.

The FUTA said that university non-academic employees’ issues should be looked into without conflating them with university academic employees’ demands. FUTA’s Vice President and Media Spokesperson, Senior Lecturer Charudaththa Illangasinghe told The Daily Morning that among other demands, university non-academic employees’ demand that their Monthly Compensation Allowance (MCA) be increased, arguing that it should be proportionately increased in a context where university academic employees’ academic allowances have been increased.

“There is no connection between the two (allowances). The MCA is one thing and academic allowances such as research allowances are another thing. We have no objection to demands that the MCA be increased or it being increased by any amount. But, we oppose the comparison of the two allowances,” Illangasinghe said.

He stressed the importance of the Government intervening to resolve university non-academic employees’ issues without delay, explaining that the ongoing union action has negatively impacted university students: “This action has a huge impact on the students. Many activities in the university system have come to a halt. Some lectures are being conducted online, some are not being conducted, some exams are not being conducted, and there are issues when it comes to issuing admission for exams. We ask the Government to discuss and come to an agreement to resolve this issue soon.”

The Daily Morning’s attempts to contact university non-academic employees’ unions were not successful. However, earlier, they told The Daily Morning that they are seeking to have salary anomalies and allowance-related issues resolved through union action, and that the authorities have not paid attention to their issues despite multiple requests. In this context, earlier this month (May), university non-academic employees launched a strike over the said issues. 

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