1 000 workers to be insourced at UCT

2016-06-22 13:51
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PICS: UCT staff and students protest at Parliament

UCT staff and students have marched to Parliament to protest, demanding an end to outsourcing. View pics of the protest here.

Cape Town - About 1 000 formerly outsourced workers will be put on the University of Cape Town's payroll as of July 1, vice chancellor Max Price has announced.

Employees working for six companies - TurfWorks, G4S, Sibanye, Metro Cleaning Services, Supercare and C3 Food Services – will now work for the institution on a full-time basis, he said in a communiqué to staff and students.

Student movement Rhodes Must Fall joined the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union and outsourced workers in October last year to protest against the system, saying the vast majority of cafeteria, bookshop, maintenance workers, cleaners, catering staff, security workers and landscapers are employed by contractors instead of the university, leading to private sector companies "making profit out of public-sector funding and the exploited labour of workers".

Price said the now-insourced staff have been an integral part of UCT's operations for a long time through the long-term services they have provided to the institution.

"But they have not been UCT employees, and often expressed the view that they have felt excluded from the UCT family even though they feed our students, clean the intimate spaces we work and live in, protect us, advise visitors who approach them about where to go, and have always felt enormously proud to be working at UCT. We are changing that," he said.

While insourcing has added to UCT's financial worries, the institution has budgeted for a once-off capital expenditure of R40m from its reserves and an annual recurrent operational cost of approximately R68m, Price confirmed.

"It is worth repeating that the key driver of our current austerity measures has been the declining level of the state subsidy allocation to UCT over the past five years. In each of those years, the government subsidy fell short of our cost increase by approximately R50 million; thus cumulatively we are now approximately R250 million short annually.

"We partially compensated for these deficits by increasing fee income well above inflation, but we remain with an ongoing shortfall. In addition, the 0% fee increase for 2016 has created further financial challenges."

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

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