News

Politicos obstructed protesting parents: Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union

 

  • Teachers’ unions demand legal action; write to IGP
  • Nationwide protests set for 9 and 12 Nov.

 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) claimed that various local politicians have obstructed a series of protests organised by parents of schoolchildren in front of schools on Wednesday (3), demanding that the Government address the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue.

“On 3 November, parents had organised a series of protests in support of our ongoing struggle. There we saw the Warakapola Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Chairman scolding the parents. Also, the Mawanella PS Deputy Chairman had forcibly entered a school and scolded the teachers. We have, therefore, made a written request to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana D. Wickramaratne to initiate legal action against them, and if the law is not enforced against them, we are ready to take other action,” CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe told The Morning yesterday (4).

Nearly 5,000 protests organised by parents of schoolchildren, according to the Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Union Alliance (TPTUA), were held in front of schools across the country on Wednesday in support of the trade union actions initiated by the TPTUA, demanding that the Government solve the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue.

The main protest, which was attended by nearly 200 parents, was held in the Armour Street area in Colombo 10. In addition to the parents, Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin, CTSU General Secretary Jayasinghe, and several other trade union representatives also participated in the main protest.

Meanwhile, nearly 30 teachers’ and principals’ trade unions affiliated to the TPTUA have decided to declare 9 November as a day of national protests, demanding that the Government resolve the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue, according to the CTSU.

Speaking to The Morning, Jayasinghe said that accordingly, a series of protests will be held in front of all zonal education offices throughout the country at 2 p.m. on 9 November, of which the main protest will be held near the Lipton Circus Roundabout in Colombo.

He also said that another trade union action will be initiated on 12 November, when the budget proposal for the financial year of 2022 would be presented to the Parliament. Jayasinghe said that the TPTUA would announce in the future as to whether the said trade union action will be a strike or some other action.

Nearly 30 teachers’ and principals’ trade unions have embarked on a number of trade union actions, including withdrawal from all physical and online teaching activities and examination-related duties, demanding a solution to the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue since 12 July 2021.

However, they have now relaxed some of these trade union actions, including by returning to physical teaching in schools under a work-to-rule campaign. They are further engaged in the trade union action in which they have withdrawn from all online teaching activities, and the trade unions recently said that they would not resume online teaching activities unless they are provided with the necessary facilities such as tablets, laptops, and data packages.