Sri Lanka University Grants Commission UGC has informed all university chancellors to recommence the academic activities of the state universities from Monday October 14 that were hampered due to the strike action launched by the non-academic trade unions.
Vice-Chairman of the UGC, Professor L. P. Gunaratne says that thereby all universities will be opened in the upcoming week. He further said that examinations and lectures that were postponed due to the strike could be carried out smoothly according to the time table.
He further says that the process of enrolling the new entrants to the university that was also hampered due to the strike will also be expedited. The strike action that was in effect for 33 days was brought to an end last Friday (October 11) following the promise given by the subject minister to resolve their existing wage anomalies within a month.
The strike action launched by the non-academic staff across state universities in the country was called off October 11 following an agreement with the authorities to resolve the salary anomalies of university employees within a month.
Following a cabinet decision to resolve the issue, the decision was taken to end the 33-day-long strike after an agreement was signed between the Higher Education Ministry, the University Grants Commission and the University Trade Union Alliance.
Accordingly, the trade union action will cease from October 12 and all employees will be informed of the decision. The employees will report to work from Monday (14) and normal functions at state universities will be resumed, the Media Secretary of the union Wijayatilake Jayasinghe said.
Two cabinet papers were presented to resolve this issue, and the employees rejected the original cabinet paper and continued to engage in trade union action. The non-academic staff has reportedly agreed to the second cabinet paper.
Both cabinet papers have ordered the Secretary to the Ministry to provide the information necessary for the Salaries and Cadre Commission to solve the problem.
The two cabinet papers have also stated that the proposals submitted by the Salaries and Cadre Commission within a month will be submitted to the Cabinet after obtaining the concurrence of the trade unions.
The workers and management signed the agreement stating that the management will adhere to the recommendations made by the Salaries and Cadres commission as a solution to their issue and will not penalize the workers who were engaged in the strike.
The agreement was signed by the Secretary to the Ministry, the Chairman and Secretary of the University Grant Commission and the representatives of Trade Union Alliance.