Sri Lanka to allocate Rs 30 bn for teachers’ pay hike to be paid in one go

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government plans to allocate 30 billion rupees for the proposed salary increment for school teachers and principals to be paid in one go, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said presenting the annual budget for 2022.

The allocation, as recommended by a cabinet subcommittee on August 30, is hoped to effectively end the months-long trade union campaign by school teachers which saw a series of protests and a strike that dragged on for over 100 days.

“This is in addition to the current allocation of over 109,000 million rupees on teachers’ and principals’ salaries,” said Rajapaksa.

A discussion between teachers’ unions and the cash-strapped government ended in a win for the unions on Wednesday (10) when Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed to pay the teachers a long-demanded salary increment in one go.

The past few months saw the unions and the government at loggerheads over salary anomalies that had plagued the service for 24 years.

The government, battling multiple crises, had previously proposed to increase their salaries in a four-year strategy, but upon the rejection of that proposal, the government later proposed to provide the increments in two instalments, an offer roundly rejected by the unions who wanted the increment in one go.

Though the strikes had already ended, teachers had refrained from participating in non-academic activity at schools. (Colombo/Nov12/2021)

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