Nehawu leaders to meet with UP management over interdict

2017-05-22 12:47
Pretoria University blocked their Lynnwood entrance as protesters made their way to the gate. (Alex Mitchley/News24)

Pretoria University blocked their Lynnwood entrance as protesters made their way to the gate. (Alex Mitchley/News24)

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Pretoria – Leaders of the National Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) are expected to meet with University of Pretoria (UP) representatives on Monday to discuss a court interdict against them, relating to them picketing outside the campus over pay, and the possibility of re-opening negotiations.

Nehawu started picketing outside of the university on Friday, demanding a 13th cheque, an 8% salary increase and better medical aid.

Ntsako Nombelani, Nehawu's national organiser on higher education, told members that they would be meeting with university management to discuss the particulars of a court interdict granted on Friday, which prevents them from disrupting students and staff, picketing on campus, as well as picketing within 50m of any UP entrance.

UP spokesperson Candice Jooste confirmed that an interdict had been obtained by the Labour Court against Nehawu.

The interdict also stopped Nehawu from demonstrating at the university's open day which, as a result, went ahead without disruptions on Saturday.

Three arrested

On Friday, what was a largely a peaceful protest flared up when Nehawu members split into two groups. While one group demonstrated peacefully, other members tried to gain entry onto the university's campus, where they were met by police who retaliated with teargas and stun grenades.

Some Nehawu members managed to get past the officers, while others retreated and threw rocks and bricks at the police.

Three Nehawu members were arrested.

The clash between the protesters and police was short-lived, as the regional leadership managed to calm the situation, and got them to rejoin those who were dancing and singing peacefully at the university's front gate.

UP classes were continuing as normal on Monday, as Nehawu members protested on the side of the road near the engineering department entrance.

Jooste said salary negotiations had reached a deadlock after the union refused the university's offer of a 7% general salary increase, effective from March 1, 2017, as well as an additional R3 000 gratuity payment.

Read more on:    up  |  nehawu  |  pretoria  |  university protests

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