Union wants action over Tuks staffer's 'black staff' email

2017-05-25 12:05
A Nehawu protester at UP. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

A Nehawu protester at UP. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Pretoria – Nehawu has called for action to be taken against a University of Pretoria staffer who said all the institution’s “black staff” are involved in the trade union's strike.

"In our strike there are white members, coloured members and black members," National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union  (Nehawu) higher education national organiser, Ntsako Nombelani, said on Wednesday.

He said the staff member’s email was taking the UP’s efforts at transformation backwards.

The strike over wages started on Wednesday. Nombelani called on the university to act against such "blatant racism".

An employee in a managerial position at the TuksSport facilities sent the email to the university's management.

In it, he makes reference to a problem with the lights on the tennis courts and that another employee had not reported back. He tells management to keep in mind that "the union workers all our black staff are now on STRIKE".

News24 has covered Nehawu’s strike, and those demonstrating were from different racial backgrounds. 

UP spokesperson Rikus Delport said racism was not tolerated.

"A number of our staff members are on strike, including from the sports facilities," he said.

Nehawu leaders met UP vice-chancellor Prof Cheryl de la Rey earlier on Wednesday to discuss the impasse between the union and the institution. 

Nombelani said, following the meeting, that progress had been made and that UP was looking at the affordability of a 7.5% salary increase and the affordability of a 13th cheque. 

UP agreed to give the union full participatory rights in appointing a medical aid broker and allow it to be involved in choosing a medical aid scheme. 

"We have made a lot of process and finally our members will return to work as soon as we sign an agreement," said Nombelani.

"This is a victory."

University spokesperson Candice Jooste said after negotiations deadlocked on Tuesday that the institution was convinced that its offer of a 7% general salary increase and a R3 000 gratuity payment was reasonable and fair, given the current economic conditions and that workers were earning above the industry average.

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

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