South Africa 23.5.2017 05:39 am

Last-ditch effort to end UP strike

MAKING THEIR VOICE HEARD. A Nehawu member addresses strikers outside the University of Pretoria’s main
campus in Hatfield yesterday following failed salary negotiations with varsity management. Picture: Refilwe Modise

MAKING THEIR VOICE HEARD. A Nehawu member addresses strikers outside the University of Pretoria’s main campus in Hatfield yesterday following failed salary negotiations with varsity management. Picture: Refilwe Modise

University spokesperson Rikus Delport says the strike will probably continue.

The University of Pretoria (UP) and the National Health Education & Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) have agreed to go back to the negotiating table this morning in a last effort to try to find common ground on 2017 salary negotiations. UP has also agreed to allow Nehawu members to continue to picket in front of the university.

Both parties signed an agreement document and Nehawu agreed to continue their peaceful demonstrations.

On Friday, the Labour Court in Johannesburg granted the university an interdict to prevent Nehawu from participating in unlawful protests on the campus of the university.

This interdict has been set aside with the condition that Nehawu will continue their peaceful picketing.

Nehawu national organiser Ntsako Nombelani said both parties also agreed to appoint an independent commissioner from the office of the CCMA to sit in tomorrow’s salary negotiations.

University spokesperson Rikus Delport told The Citizen earlier that the strike would probably continue until the negotiations have been resolved.

“Classes are continuing as usual. The university will not permit any disruptions to the academic programme,” Delport said.

He added that salary negotiations have deadlocked after the union refused UP’s offer of a 7% general salary increase effective March 1, 2017, as well as an additional R3 000 gratuity payment.

Nehawu demands an 8% salary increase with a 100% 13th cheque.

Delport said the university has put contingency measures in place to ensure the well-being of animals at the Onderstepoort veterinary campus, north of Pretoria, while the strike continues.

This after members of Nehawu working on this particular campus also joined the strike.

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