CPUT agrees to insource its workers

2017-08-03 07:12
Workers protest outside the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Belville campus in 2016. (File, Ashleigh Furlong, GroundUp)

Workers protest outside the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Belville campus in 2016. (File, Ashleigh Furlong, GroundUp)

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Cape Town - Following a week of student-worker protests that resulted in a two-day shutdown, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) has agreed to insource its workers.

The workers signed pre-contracts on July 31, making them permanent CPUT employees from January 1, 2018. The pre-contract also stated that finalised contracts would be given to the workers on or before August 31, and that their payslips would be available on August 25.

Shirley van Niekerk, a cleaner at the Roeland Street campus, lives in Delft and supports her daughter and grandchildren.

She told GroundUp that she had been working for the university without a contract for eight months.

She explained that their salaries were paid directly into their accounts, without payslips.

"Tomorrow something happens with you and there’s nothing for you, and CPUT will tell you that you’re not on the system," said Van Niekerk. She is happy about the pre-contract, but before she considers this a victory, she is waiting to see the finalised contract stipulating the conditions of employment.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said: "Yesterday, insourced workers signed pre-contracts which cemented CPUT’s commitment to provide formal contracts by the end of August.

"Furthermore, Council also committed to monitoring the insourcing process more regularly."

The letter sent to the students and workers from CPUT management referred to the court cases against the charged Fees Must Fall students.

The letter stated: "The University Management remains committed to the well-being of all our students and cares deeply for those facing charges at this time."

The letter also assured the students that CPUT management would write "comprehensive letters of motivation" to the court to allow all charged students to complete their studies.

GroundUp asked CPUT management about the additional costs of insourcing, but the institution did not answer this question.

The student-worker protests last week included two key demands: insourcing security guards and cleaning staff, and dropping the charges against students. The university decided to close for two days.

Acting Vice Chancellor Chris Nhlapo said they had shut down the university to ensure the safety of the staff and students. The CPUT council met with insourced workers and students on July 26, where they reached an agreement to insource workers.


Read more on:    cput  |  cape town  |  labour  |  university protests

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