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Workers in administration, support to continue protest at Unisa until given salary increases

Nehawu occupy and use ZK Matthews Great Hall to host their union meetings on salary increases. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Nehawu occupy and use ZK Matthews Great Hall to host their union meetings on salary increases. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Published Mar 17, 2022


Pretoria - Disgruntled workers in administration and support will continue their demonstration on Unisa premises until the university gives them the salary increases it gave their colleagues on different grades.

This is according to chairperson of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), Lunathi Hontoti, amid the impasse that frustrated proceedings at the university and interrupted scheduled graduations.

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Subsequently, Unisa spokesperson Edgar Rathele said after careful evaluation of the situation arising out of the ensuing talks to resolve the impasse between the university and the union, the university resolved to postpone all scheduled graduations until next Tuesday.

Nehawu said its disgruntled members gave them a mandate to protest because they watched Unisa implement salary adjustments for their colleagues from post grade 5 and post grade 6 which are in junior management and academics.

Hontoti said the union was still going to protest because they wanted Unisa to acknowledge that it was in contravention of a collective agreement signed between Nehawu and the university management earlier this year.

The agreement would see staff from post grade 7 to post grade 10 receive a 3% salary increase and staff from post grade 11 to post grade 16 receive a 7% salary increase.

As negotiations are ongoing, the university accused Nehawu of occupying and using ZK Matthews Great Hall to host their meetings while they planned to use the hall for the graduation ceremony.

This was refuted by Hontoti who claimed that the university was dishonest because it gave the union permission to use the hall.

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Rathele said that Unisa resorted to postpone all graduations for the week until Tuesday to give space for management and the union to resolve the impasse and to ensure that when the remainder of the graduation ceremonies resume, they do so in an environment safe from any possible disruption and inconvenience to graduates and guests.

"Once again, the university apologises for any inconvenience caused by this postponement but assures everyone that this decision has been taken in the best interest of all the affected stakeholders.

"The university further affirms that alternative graduation arrangements are being considered to cater for graduates affected by these postponements. The details will be communicated directly to the affected parties in due course.

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"The talks between university management and Nehawu are currently in progress and the university is working towards a speedy resolution of the impasse and a return to normal operations as soon as possible."

Pretoria News