The circular with regard to the allowance of Rs. 5,000 to be paid to teachers and principals, until a permanent solution is found to the teacher-principal salary anomaly issue through the forthcoming Budget 2022, has been issued by the Education Ministry.
The circular, issued by the Education Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera, stated that the relevant allowance for teachers and principals on duty can be obtained from the Zonal Directors of Education. It also stated that the allowance has been sent to the Zonal Directors of Education through whom the teachers and principals on duty can obtain said allowance of Rs. 5,000.
Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, on 31 August 2021, stated that through the budget proposal for the year 2022, the Government hopes to make salary revisions to address the salary anomalies of teachers and principals. He further said that the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to pay a monthly allowance of Rs. 5,000 to teachers and principals for the two months of September and October until the budget proposal is presented in the Parliament.
Speaking further, Gunawardena added that the services of teachers, teaching instructors, and principals would be declared a closed service through a gazette notification issued before 22 November 2021. “In addition, the Education Ministry will work with the Provincial Councils and the other relevant authorities to implement the other recommendations made by the Cabinet Sub-Committee within a period of six months,” he said.
Accordingly, Prof. Perera, in the aforesaid circular, has also mentioned that the gazette notification with regard to the designation of the teacher-principal services, as recommended by the said Sub-Committee, as a closed service, will be issued by November 2021. The remaining recommendations will be implemented within six months and its progress will be submitted to the Cabinet, it read.
However, the teachers’ trade unions (TUs) have claimed that the provision of this Rs. 5,000 allowance is an attempt to sabotage the ongoing teachers-principals trade union actions.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday (20), the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that there was a problem with how the allowance would be paid to teachers on duty in a situation where all schools are closed due to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation.
“We did not ask for an allowance of Rs. 5,000. We are asking for solutions to our issues. It is now clear that this allowance is an attempt to mislead teachers,” he added.
The majority of teachers and principals have withdrawn from both online and physical teaching activities and examination-related duties over unresolved issues including the teachers-principals salary anomalies in particular.