University non-academic staff strike enters eighth day

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 August 2003, 14:36 GMT]
The strike by approximately ten thousand members of the Inter University Trade Union Federation (ITUF) entered its eighth day Tuesday as the talks held with the University Grant Commission ( UGC ) representatives Monday failed to reach a consensus on their twenty-one demands. Activities in all universities in the island including the northeast have come to standstill due to the strike, ITUF sources said.

Meanwhile, members of the non-academic staff of the Eastern University in Batticaloa Tuesday held a demonstration. Strikers went on a march from the university premises to the Batticaloa district secretariat and the President of the East University non-academic staff union, Mr.S. Sooriyakanthan, handed over a memorandum to the Additional Government Agent, Mr.S.Punnyamoorthy.

“ Until our 21 demands are met we will continue our strike,” Mr.Sooriayakanthan said in his memorandum, sources said.

The Jaffna University administration cancelled all examinations from Tuesday as the entire non-academic staff joined the strike, sources said. Up to last Friday, the Jaffna university administration was able to conduct examinations without interruption amid the strike, sources said.

In the meantime, ITUF President, Mr. Lionel Malwatte, said they have launched the strike as a last resort in winning our demands, which included rectification of salary anomalies arising from the recommendations of the B.C.Perera Salary Commission and a salary raise. The talks with the University Grant Commission was constructive but no consensus was reached on their core demands such as rectifying salary anomalies and the quantum of salary raise. The UGC suggested an interim monthly allowance of one thousand rupees, sources said

Non-academic union officials of the Trincomalee campus of the Eastern University said they would hold a demonstration in support of the ITUF strike Wednesday morning in Trincomalee, sources said.




ITUF Batticaloa marching at the Eastern University





Non-academic staff demonstrating and marching.





Batticaloa ITUF President Mr.Sooriayakanthan handing over the memorandum to the Batticaloa Additional Government Agent Mr.Punnyamoorthy


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