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Edu. Ministry flays 'troublesome' unions

Edu. Ministry flays 'troublesome' unions

2012 Dec 11

by Dasun Edirisinghe
The Education Ministry yesterday blamed teachers’ and principals’ trade unions, which organised Tuesday’s sick-note campaign of not helping solve their problems as they did not participate in recent discussions with the education authorities. It claimed they were only interested in sabotaging school education by organising strikes.

Deputy Education Minister Vijith Vijithamuni Zoysa, citing an example, said they had even refused to submit their proposals for the new Teachers’ Service Minute. He said that they were being provided with solutions to their grievances gradually, but a faction of the teachers attached to the JVP and NGOs was only interested in creating trouble for their survival.

"I have been advised by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Minster Bandula Gunawardena to handle trade unions and solve their problems," Zoysa said, adding that it was very unfair for the unionists to criticize the ministry without participating in discussions.

The Deputy Minister said that they would introduce the new teachers’ minute before Jan. 15 with the proposals of educationists, intellectuals and trade unions in the education sector.

Additional Secretary of the Ministry H. M. R. Herath said that there were 102 trade unions in the education sector, but only eight of them were legal.

When contacted for comment, spokesman for the Principals and Teachers Trade Union Alliance, Mahinda Jayasinghe said their trade union alliance was not working according to the agenda of any political party or NGO. "We are only looking after the interests of teachers," he said.

Denying the deputy minister’s claims, Jayasinghe said they had submitted their proposals for the new teachers’ minute on Nov. 30.

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