Nehawu ends strike at Vaal University of Technology

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) on Wednesday said it has ended its strike at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) after an agreement was reached by the national union and the employer after marathon negotiations.

General Secretary Zola Saphetha said their members were consulted on the draft settlement that was agreed upon by their negotiation team and the employer.

After intensive consultation, their members accepted the proposed settlement and the agreement was subsequently signed on Tuesday.

Saphetha said they agreed on a 7.5% salary increase across the board backdated to April 2019.

They also agreed to the equalisation of implementation of a signed in-sourcing agreement of 2016 and the non-implementation of five days “no-work-no-pay” in exchange for a R5,000 once-off payment.

The conversion of qualifying contracts into permanent jobs was also agreed to. Saphetha said charges laid against union members would be withdrawn.

He said the unity demonstrated by VUT workers should teach all other universities a lesson that when workers were united nothing could defeat them.

“The five-day long strike by our members should have long been avoided had the university came to the negotiations table with progressive openness and care for its human capital [rather] than being fixated on one position of a 0% salary increase,” said Saphetha.

“We also hope that the assessor that has been appointed by the minister of higher education and training will expedite his work and uncover elements of ongoing corruption and save our university.”

– African News Agency

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