Teachers are threatening to boycott Advanced Level paper marking duties unless the Government rectifies their salary anomalies by August 20.
`We now know the Government wants to go back on its promise to rectify the salary anomalies in the teacher service. This problem has been prevailing for years and every government, instead of finding answers, tries to evade solving it. We have to resort to trade union action and to begin with, we`ll abstain from participating in GCE Advanced Level paper marking duties scheduled to commence from August 20,` General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union, Mahinda Jayasinghe told a press conference at the National Library Auditorium in Colombo yesterday.
Earlier in the day, the CTSU attended a meeting with the Secretary to the Ministry of Education and top brass of the National Salaries and Cadres Commission at the Commission`s office at the BMICH. At this meeting, the Commission had rejected proposals by the Education Ministry to resolve the salary anomaly problem in the teacher service. `Earlier the Commission told us that the ministry had not sent them their proposals.
At this meeting the Commission could not further hide the fact that the Ministry had forwarded their proposals on May 22,` Jayasinghe said.
He said the Education Ministry had proposed new salary scales for all five grades in the teacher service. Accordingly a Grade 3 II teacher would receive a monthly salary of Rs. 14,870, a Grade 3 I teacher Rs 17,110, a Grade 2 II teacher Rs 20,160, Grade 2 I Rs 22,935 and a Grade 1 teacher Rs 25,515. `We consider the opinion of two co-chairmen and secretary of the commission as the government`s stance on the issue. They rejected the ministry proposals entirely.`
Jayasinghe said that over 10,500 teachers are scheduled to attend to paper marking at centers island-wide. `We took the decision to resort to union action as we have no other means to exhort the authorities. We had many rounds of talks with all relevant officials. We even wrote to the President on July 09, yet no attempt had been taken to rectify the salary anomaly problem in the teacher service,` Jayasinghe added.