DUT staff stage ‘lunch-time picket’

2009-01-26 00:00

THE Durban University of Technology (DUT) staged its first strike for the year in all its five campuses yesterday and this time, students had nothing to do with it.

Rather, it was the staff who took to the street by staging a peaceful picket during lunch time and within the institution’s corridors as the students looked on uninterested.

Lorna McCullough, the shop steward of the National Union of Technikon Employers of SA (Nutesa), one of the three recognised trade unions for DUT’s staff members, said the strike was as a result of five-month long botched salary increase negotiations with management.

“As teachers we are okay with being poor but we don’t want to be poorer,” said McCullough, who claims that last year their salary increase was less than the CPIX, but with an understanding that it would be higher this year.

Despite taking the matter as far as the CCMA, negotiations for the 13,6% increase they want have been deadlocked with management only offering 9%.

“We decided to hold a peaceful lunch time picket today and tomorrow. We want at least to stay at CPIX but we are obviously professionals and not unreasonable. All three unions, [Nutesa, the National Education, health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Tertiary Education National Union of SA (Tenusa)] are together on this — the decision was unanimous.”

However, McCullough has not ruled out possibilities of a full blown strike, should negotiations not reach a desired end in these two days.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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