UFS workers demand 7% increase, end to outsourcing

2016-06-01 14:20
NEHAWU members striking at UFS over wages. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24))

NEHAWU members striking at UFS over wages. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24))

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Bloemfontein - University of the Free State workers protested on campus on Wednesday morning, demanding a 7% wage increase and for outsourcing to be stopped.

About 100 National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) members sang and danced outside the Bloemfontein campus. 

Provincial secretary Mokapi Mokhachane told News24 that, following lengthy negotiations, the university had decided to cap the salary increase for workers and cleaners for 2016 at 4%, without consulting them.  

"We had salary negotiations with the university recently and they decided to give workers 4%, which is way below the consumer price index (CPI). We want 7% and we also want outsourced workers to be insourced, because there is still no signed agreement which gives us certainty as a union," he said.    

"During the negotiations, Professor Jonathan Jansen agreed with us that 4% was not good enough, but he has a team that said they cannot afford it. We will strike until we get what we want."

University spokesperson Lacea Loader said management had tried to bring the union back into negotiations to avoid a picket and strike. These efforts failed on Monday.  

"The university management emphasises again that the principle of no-work, no-pay will apply. The university management will continue to pursue negotiations with the union on their concerns," she said.  

During #OutsourcingMustFall protests in February, university management briefed workers and promised to meet their demands.  

Trevor Shaku, a students and workers forum member, said at the time that once the workers’ contracts expired, the university would employ them directly. By July 2017, every worker would be insourced.  

NEHAWU members striking at UFS over wages. (Supplied)

Read more on:    university of free state  |  bloemfontein  |  strikes  |  labour

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