DURBAN - Durban University of Technology (DUT) employees went on strike this week outside the university's main campus, the Steve Biko Campus.
The employees are requesting a 10% annual salary increase, which is more than what the university is offering. DUT is offering a 4% annual salary increase.
In a press statement the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) called on DUT's management to give in to the demands of the employees.
According to their statement, the trade union holds a strong view that the management of DUT especially the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Thandwa Mthembu, has been treating the employees with disdain.
The trade union believes that the 4% that DUT is offering is an insult especially because they ensure that the university plays their role in giving students an education.
Noxolo Memela, the Communications Manager at DUT, stated in an email that the DUT management remains committed to resolving the issues and making sure that the university and its operations will go back to normal as soon as possible.
Regarding the salary negotiations, Memela said that DUT management engages with the labour unions and representative son an ongoing basis.
She said that the talks with unions date back to May 2017.
At the moment student registration is taking place at the university and according to Memela, registration was slightly affected in the morning.
The university is now encouraging all students to register online because of the strike.
NEHAWU is blaming the university for the interruption of registration for students due to their refusal to quicken the salary negotiations which were supposed to end in September last year.
The trade union is supporting the 10% increase that DUT employees want.
The conclusion of the press statement reads as follows :
"DUT Management would like to assure its stakeholders that it continues to work towards ensuring that the functions and work of the university continue and that the safety and protection of students, staff and university property remain a priority. DUT remains open.
The University Management wishes to express its sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused at this time".
Union leadership will be invited to a meeting that is scheduled to take place this week, where there will be more talks to resolve the stalemate.
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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE