Nehawu to go on strike at Unisa on Wednesday

Unisa Building, Pretoria | Unisa site

Unisa Building, Pretoria | Unisa site

The union is demanding salary increases of 12 percent across the board while Unisa management is offering 6.5 percent. 

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) on Tuesday, said that it would go on strike at the University of South Africa (Unisa) from Wednesday after wage negotiations deadlocked between the national union and university management.

The union also demands that all council members stop doing business with the university with immediate effect. It also wants the university to absorb all contract workers with immediate effect and stop outsourcing workers from labour brokers.

“Our members at the university are sick and tired of being taken for granted by the university management and they are willing to go on a full blown strike indefinitely up until their demands are met,” Nehawu said in a statement.

“Workers will not return to work until the university management sorts out the salary dispute and the absorption on a full time basis of all workers on contract since 2014 in the Information and communication technology (ICT) department.”

The union said it believes that Unisa can afford the 12 percent salary increase that workers are demanding.

“The university attracts and register over 400,000 students annually and preserving more than R400 billions in reserves. Our view is that they are being disingenuous when they plead poverty,” Nehawu said.

“In this regard, the national union has taken a decision to go on a full blown strike in all campuses across the country until our demands are met.”

In January 2017, Nehawu downed tools and embarked on a nationwide strike at Unisa campuses after wage negotiations with the university were unsuccessful. The union was demanding a 14 percent salary increase but the university offered 4.5 percent.

On Tuesday, calm was restored to Unisa’s Sunnyside campus in Pretoria, on Tuesday, following a chaotic outbreak after prospective students started climbing over the gates to get into the university grounds to register for the 2018 academic year.

On Monday, chaos erupted at the university when scores of students were unable to apply or register for the new academic year. There was pandemonium when current and prospective students who grew impatient while waiting outside the locked gates forced their way on to the Sunnyside campus.

 – African News Agency (ANA)

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