The Ceylon Teachers’ Union says the token strike staged by teachers and principals of government schools is successfully underway.
The sick note campaign was launched today to highlight the issues faced by the children and teachers due to the prevailing political and economic crisis.
Meanwhile, the Teachers’ and Principals’ Trade Union Alliance had met the Secretary to the Ministry of Education today to raise awareness on the plight of teachers and students in the face of the current crisis.
Speaking to media after the discussion, the Chief Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said the sick note campaign staged in all 10,154 schools with the participation of all teachers, principals and teaching instructors has been a major success.
Stalin said a massive trade union action has been scheduled for the 28th of April with the participation of state, non-state, private, semi government sectors, farmers and labourers if the government fails to reach a decision within the week.
He said the government must resign prior to the 28th. When questioned by media whether a discussion pertaining to the trade union action was held with the Ministry of Education, the Chief Secretary said the Secretary to the Education Ministry cannot provide any response to the prevailing crisis.
He said the Ministry’s Secretary called on teachers not to engage in the trade union action since salaries were increased.
He said however the salary increment was not sufficient since it was only one third of the proposed increment adding however the entire state sector is yet to receive any increments.
Commenting on whether it was fair to engage in trade union actions after schools were closed for two years hindering the education of students, Stalin said they are engaged in the trade union action considering the student since they are unable to bear the costs of books and other stationary items due to the economic crisis.
He said the government must take necessary steps to provide concessions.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said students are facing difficulties in coming into school due to the increase in fuel prices.
Jayasinghe said they launched the trade union action in order to create an environment for students engage in education without any hindrances.
He said school van fees have increased threefold while teachers are also facing difficulties in coming into school due to the fuel crisis.
He said public is unable to source three meals a day due to food inflation.
Jayasinghe said they engaged in the trade union action to force the government to step down immediately.