Durban University of Technology workers have gone on strike demanding a 10% salary increase. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/AfricanNewsAgency/ANA

THE  Durban University of Technology (DUT) says it is unlikely to change its salary offer to labour unions as it is already spending a large chunk of its budget on salaries.

DUT management addressed the media on Thursday morning on the ongoing strike by staff members that has crippled student registrations and other functions of the university this past week.

The strike entered its eight day on Thursday and is being led by three labour unions.

The unions are demanding a salary increase of 10% where's the management has offered between  4 and 6%.

DUT Vice Chancellor Thando Mthembu said the norm set by the Department of Higher Education and Training is that universities should contain their salary bill between 58 and 62% of their budget.

“But we have already far exceeded that, we are now approaching 70%. Even if we had billions of rand

(in reserves) we will still need to go back to the norm by the DHET that determines how much we can spend on salaries,” he said.

Mthembu said the university had numerous challenges, it needed R1.2 billion to upgrade its infrastructure such as lecture halls and offices and its student debts had ballooned in the past few years with figure sitting at R625 million.

Wiseman Madinane the chair of the university's council, said they will be looking for ways to break the deadlock reached by bringing in a professional mediator.

“We feel the current environment of the negotiations has become too toxic and nothing will be achieved from them, we want to bring in a mediator.”