JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Wednesday it had convened a meeting with workers to present the latest wage offer from Wits University.

Numsa members at the university went on strike last week, demanding a 12 percent salary increase and also that workers currently outsourced via third party labour brokers be employed directly. Another  major sticking point was that the majority of Numsa members fall into the 16 and 17 employment grades, the category for the lowest earners.

Wits initially offered an eight percent hike but has upped this to  a 9.2 percent increase for workers in grade 16 and 17. The university is also offering to  increase salaries for workers in grades 5-8  by 7 percent, and by 7.8 percent for those in the 9-15 scale.

It has has also proposed establishing a task team to upgrade the lowest grade workers to grade 15 by July, bringing them closer to earning a "living wage".

"Numsa is worker controlled and therefore we cannot sign the final offer until our members have seen it and satisfied themselves that it contains clauses which they agreed to," Numsa acting spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said.

"Thereafter it is likely that all parties will sign the final agreement later today." 

Workers affiliated to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) last week also scored a victory when the University of South Africa agreed that permanent and fixed-term employees to receive a salary increase of 7.5 percent. 

- African News Agency (ANA)