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Teacher-Principal salary issue: Cabinet nod for all Ministerial Committee proposals

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The Cabinet has endorsed all the proposals submitted by the Ministerial Committee appointed to look into teacher-principal salary anomalies and decided to implement the proposals within the next six months, Committee Spokesman Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stated.

After considering all the suggestions made by the trade unions, 11 proposals were submitted to the cabinet by the Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed to make recommendations to eliminate the salary anomalies of teachers and principals, Minister Amaraweera said speaking at a media briefing held at the Department of Government Information yesterday.

Recommendations have been made to provide a separate allowance for principals and teachers working in remote areas.

It was also proposed that all the privileges pertaining to the staff grades should be given to all the principals in that grade.

The Minister also pointed out that Rs.119 billion is being paid as teachers’ monthly salaries at present. However, according to the Subodhini Committee report, another Rs.72 billion will be added to those payments. “The Cabinet sub-committee has decided to allocate an additional Rs.32 Billion for this purpose,” he added. It should be noted that the proposed Rs.5,000 allowance for teachers and principals was not proposed by the Cabinet sub-committee but by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa. The Minister Mahinda Amaraweera further highlighted that the committee has made recommendations to increase the recruitment rate of teachers and to make all the teachers community graduates. For this purpose, it has been recommended to convert 18 faculties which were maintained as teaching colleges into universities.

Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa stated that the services of teachers, teaching instructors, and principals would be declared as a closed service through a gazette notification to be issued before November 20, 2021.

“In addition, it was decided to implement the salary revisions recommended by the Cabinet Sub-Committee to eliminate the salary anomalies of teachers and principals, in stages through a 2022 budget proposal”, he added.

Further, the Cabinet of Ministers has decided on granting a special allowance of Rs. 5000 for teachers and principals who are on duty during the months of September and October 2021. The Minister Wimal Weerawansa further noted that he believes that whatever decision is taken by certain trade unions, all teachers’ and principals in the country will engage in teaching activities.

“In addition, the Education Ministry will work with the provincial councils and other relevant authorities to implement the other recommendations made by the subcommittee within a period of six months,” he added.

Commenting on this development, Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that the proposals made by the Cabinet to resolve the issue of the teacher-principal salary anomalies are not acceptable.

He further stated that the subcommittee has recommended that a certain amount of the salary be paid in installments, but they suggested that it be paid altogether. He also stressed that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa should discuss this matter with the teachers’ trade unions.

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