Teaching service to face staff cadre exodus

  • Unions also allege graduates’ reluctance to join

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The teachers’ trade unions have warned that due to the continuous failure of the Government to address issues in the education sector, including teacher-principal salary anomalies, there is a risk of graduates not joining the teaching service in the future, and that those already in the service are moving on to other professions.

The series of trade union actions initiated by the teachers’ and principals’ trade unions demanding solutions to their issues, including the salary anomaly, marked its 81st day yesterday (30 September).

Speaking to The Morning, Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) President Priyantha Fernando said that it is unfortunate that there is no programme to address their issues in a backdrop where the Government is spending billions on certain unnecessary projects. He also said that if these issues are not resolved, graduates will not join the teaching profession in the future, and added that even those who are currently in the service may move on to other professions.

“It has been nearly three months now since the trade union actions have been initiated, but so far the Government has not taken any action to address these issues. The Government has not even been able to discuss the matter with us. Through this, graduates will not join the teaching profession in the future and even those who are currently in the service will join other professions,” he added.

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.

Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera were unavailable for comment on the matter.