Next Budget to address teachers’ salary anomalies | Daily News

Next Budget to address teachers’ salary anomalies

Salary issues of all public servants to be reviewed
“Closed Service” designation for teachers, principals
Teachers urged to re-start online lessons

The Cabinet yesterday unanimously agreed to declare the cadre of teachers and principals a “Closed Service” and to gradually address their salary anomalies starting from the upcoming Budget, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said.

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing at the Government Information Department, the Minister said teachers and principals would be given some financial relief in the Budget for the next year. He said that Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa has agreed to facilitate this decision.

Observing that the Government as a policy is in agreement to rectify the salary anomalies and to declare it a “Closed Service”, the Minister urged the teachers and principals, who are currently on a Trade Union (TU) action, to report to duty and resume work. This week, the Government called all public servants back to office-based work.

He pointed out that the Government’s current financial status does not allow it to go for an immediate salary increase for teachers and principals, which is estimated to cost Rs.68 billion at the rate demanded by the TUs.

Responding to a question by a journalist on implementing the recommendations of the ‘Subodhini’ Report, the Minister pointed out that it has to be extensively discussed with the National Salaries and Cadre Commission. He pointed out that the Commission has reservations about the percentages of salary revisions mentioned in the Report. He also said that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, on the request of the Cabinet, was to hold another meeting with the Unions of teachers and principals to communicate the decisions of the Government and to resolve the prevailing problems.

He pointed out that it is the children in rural and suburban areas who are mostly inconvenienced due to the ongoing union action of the teachers to boycott online lessons.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told Parliament that the salary issues of the entire Public Service would be reviewed, and appropriate measures would be taken to rectify the salary anomalies of teachers and principals at the next Budget.

He was responding to a question posed by MP Imran Mahroof during the Questions Round in Parliament yesterday.The Minister pointed out that the issue of Teacher-Principal salaries anomalies is a long-term issue, but parallel services should also be considered at the same time.He noted that the Government is genuinely committed to resolving the Principal/Teacher salary issue at the earliest. 

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