Most WSU classes resumed

2013-09-10 23:30
(Picture: Walter Sisulu University)

(Picture: Walter Sisulu University)

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Johannesburg - The teaching of most classes resumed at Walter Sisulu University on Tuesday.

"Most classes resumed; however, some may not have," spokesperson Angela Church said.

This was difficult to verify because the university was spread over 1 000km² and consisted of four campuses in four towns and 13 delivery sites.

University management and trade unions signed a wage agreement late on Monday night, in terms of which workers would get a 5% increase backdated to January.

Church said it would "take some time to get the entire organisation up and running" after the agreement was reached.

This followed weeks of protests which eventually led to the university being closed. A revised academic calendar would be implemented from Tuesday to recoup lost teaching time.

Church was responding to an open letter, sent by United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa to Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane.

"Notwithstanding the announcement that the problems at the WSU have been attended to, and that classes and work would have resumed yesterday [Monday], we have received reports from the ground that this has not happened," Holomisa wrote in the letter.

He said reports indicated that one of the stipulations in the agreement was that August salaries would be paid.

Church said there was no undertaking to pay staff before 12 September.

"As a means of paying employees for additional working hours that will be worked as a consequence of the revised university calendar, the university will, on 12 September 2013, pay employees the equivalent of an August 2013 salary run - less normal deductions," she said.

Increases

Church said all the parties were committed to implementing the revised academic calendar.

The 5% increase would be backdated to 1 January 2013, and would be paid with the salary run of September 2013, together with back pay.

"The parties acknowledge that the no work, no pay principle during the industrial action applies. However, it is agreed that employees will, subject to the terms of this agreement, be entitled to trade-off leave," she said.

This was aimed at limiting the consequences of the effect of the no work, no pay principle.

Church said contract workers would be considered for permanent posts once the restructuring process had been concluded, subject to a match-and-place process.

The agreement would also result in workers being granted a once-off opportunity to migrate to a preferred retirement fund.

"It is agreed that an audit firm will be appointed to conduct a further audit on the process of migration to the new university salary scales.

"Should any error be found with the initial process, it will be corrected retrospectively to 1 January 2009."

Read more on:    udm  |  walter sisulu university  |  bantu holomisa  |  collins chabane  |  east london  |  strikes  |  education

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