The National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has concluded negotiations on salary and allowance adjustment and accepted the revised offer from the management of the Rhodes University thus ending the strike.
The accepted revised offer is a victory to workers in that:
- The university has agreed to adjust the cost of living by 6.9% across the board for permanent employees from grade 1 to 17
- Transport allowance will be adjusted by R400 per month for the following employees; food services, healthcare centre, Central Cleaning Services [CCS] and Campus Protection Unit [CPU].
- Housing allowance will be adjusted by R1000 per month for all permanent employees from grade 1 to 17
- All employees will be entitled to one afternoon off per month. The arrangement for the taking an afternoon off will be determined by the relevant supervisor and will not interfere with the operational requirements of the section/division/department, subject to the approval and implementation of the applicable leave rules and policy
- The amount set aside for merit awards will be divided amongst all employees within the bargaining unit for 2017. This entails that each employee receive a once-off bonus of approximately R1332 which will be paid in December 2017. Employees who qualify for the payment must be in service at the date of the payment and the amount will be pro-rated for staff members who joined after January 2017
The national union will continue to raise sharply the issues related to transformation as raised with the management of the University last month and will not rest until all services are insourced and workers are absorbed permanently by the University. Once again, we appeal to the university to prioritise and treat its workforce with dignity and respect if it wants to excel as a world class institution.
We warn the management against planning to victimise members and workers who were on strike and workers must be allowed to go back to work with no persecution or intimidation. In this regard, the union would also like to warn the university management well in advance about the serious consequences that will follow should they entertain any thoughts of retrenchments as a strategy to make up for lost revenue. If indeed there is lost revenue and they are in financial turmoil then they should solicit a political intervention for urgent financial rescue plan from government.
We salute members and workers for being resolute in the fight to improve their working conditions and creation of conducive working environment.
Issued by NEHAWU