MUT and staff union reach an agreement on pay increases
DURBAN - STAFF at the Mangosuthu University of Technology resumed work yesterday as they reached an agreement with the institution regarding salary increments.
The university and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union had reached a deadlock in talks after the union demanded an 8% salary increase, while the university was offering only 3.3%.
The workers downed tools and embarked on a strike at the beginning of the month which was later followed by violent student protests at the institution.
This led to the university being closed until further notice.
Nehawu eThekwini regional secretary Prince Mthalane said that in their meeting with the university management last week they managed to come to a solution.
Mthalane said they had concluded their collective agreements, which automatically halted the proceedings of the strike.
Speaking to The Mercury yesterday, he said the union had got the employer to move from 3.3% to a 5.8% increase.
According to Mthalane, there was also an issue with the housing allowance – they wanted an increase to R3 500 a month from R1 500.
He said that they had resolved that it would increase, gradually, by R250 a year.
The union also demanded the conversion of all eligible temporary workers to permanent status in line with the Labour Relations Act.
Mthalane said that since that matter was before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, they could not reach an agreement on that.
“We have alerted the institution that as soon as the matter is resolved, the process must take place. There are workers who have been on contract for many years and that is uncalled for,” he said.
University spokesperson Mbali Mkhize confirmed that the institution and the union had reached common ground.
Mkhize said the union agreed to the offer made by management, however, the offer was subject to the university’s council approval.
She also said the university had registered more than 7 244 students, new and returning.
“More than 50% of students registered over the weekend. Teaching and learning will commence when registration has been completed,” said Mkhize.