University of Pretoria: staff resume work after management agree to demands

University of Pretoria: staff resume work after management agree to demands

  • The strike by University of Pretoria workers affiliated with the Academic and Professional Staff Association of SA (APSA) has been called off following an agreement with management.
  • University management agreed to a 5% salary increase, effective from 1 January 2022, and a R2,000 once-off payment, among other things.
  • The university says it still has a pending dispute with three other labour unions.

A strike by hundreds of University of Pretoria workers has been called off following an agreement with management.
The workers, affiliated with the Academic and Professional Staff Association of SA (APSA), reported for duty on Monday 21 February, ending the strike which started on 9 February. The workers had been demanding a 10% wage increase, a once-off R3,000 payment, and better working conditions.
These workers were in-sourced in 2016. They include cleaners, security guards, gardeners, and food service workers.
Union representatives have been in negotiations with management over their demands for several days. On Friday, they agreed to terms they partly drafted to the university.
APSA general secretary Boitumelo Ben Senokoane told GroundUp that they had achieved what they set out to do during the strike, which was to demand that staff be treated fairly. “Workers within the same university [should] get the same benefits and enjoy the same rights. Previously in-sourced workers didn’t go on recess while others did. Management says they’re going to take away recess period from everyone.”
“There were differences in workers’ leave, management is now going to treat everyone the same and develop a policy for all. For us it’s a win,” said Senokoane.
Senokoane said management also agreed to a 5% salary increase, effective from 1 January 2022, and a R2,000 once-off payment. “For us, the biggest victory is on job grading because job grading implies a possible increase in salary adjustments,” said Senokoane. He said the process is to be finalised within six months.
University spokesperson Rikus Delport said they were still working on a long-term solution to some of the workers’ demands, but that UP is confident “that any impasse can be resolved through constructive engagement and without putting the long-term sustainability of the University at risk.”
“We will continue to work with organised labour in an environment of mutual respect to address the issues it raises,” said Delport.
Delport said that the increase and backpay will be reflected in the February 2022 salary payment of eligible workers.
Delport said the university is still busy with a pending deadlock dispute at the CCMA with NEHAWU, UPWO and Solidarity. He said workers under these unions would be excluded from the agreement with APSA.
“As a result of the deadlock, all employees who are members of NEHAWU, UPWO and Solidarity will not receive the increase until the matter has been resolved at the CCMA,” said Delport.
By Mosima Rafapa

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

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