Striking university non-academic staff asked to return to work by April 17

The Ministry of Higher Education asked all the striking non-academic staff of all the universities of Sri Lanka to report to work before April 17.In a circular issued today, the Ministry of Higher Education said that all non-academic staff members, who are probationary, temporary, casual, substitute, training, on service assignments and serving on a contract basis, will be considered as vacated the post if they do not report to work before 17 April.

The Ministry announced that for all permanent employees of all universities who do not report to work before April 17 and will continue the strike, the duration of their strike will be considered as a no-pay period according to the Commission Circular No 890 issued on 20017-06-07.The Ministry further said that as a result of the discussions between the striking trade unions and the Minister of Higher Education Kabir Hashim on the main demand of the strike to increase the livelihood allowance by 35%, the Treasury has agreed to increase the allowance by 10% with the consent of the unions.

Also, the Minister has agreed to appoint an independent committee to study the other demands including the pension payments to retired non-academic staff and establishing a general insurance policy, and the Joint Trade Union Committee has agreed to it.The government has stressed the necessity to open the universities immediately providing the environment for the students to continue their studies without disruptions.

Since the main demand for the strike has already been met, the Ministry has ordered all employees of the no-academic staff of all universities to return to work on or before April 17.More than 15,000 non-academic workers from 15 Sri Lankan state universities launched an indefinite strike on February 28 making six demands including a 20 percent wage rise, a language proficiency allowance, increased concessionary loans, the introduction of medical insurance and a pension scheme