Employees at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) in Durban say they have lost confidence in Vice Chancellor Professor Thandwa Mthembu after he failed to engage with them three days into their protected strike.

Members of three unions, National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), National Tertiary Education Union (Nteu) and Tertiary Education National Union of South Africa (Tenusa) are demanding a 10% increase to their salaries.

The strike coincides with similar protest action at Unisa where students protested in solidarity with employees who downed tools are demanding a 12% increase. Both employers have offered only 4%.

Speaking on behalf of the three unions, Nehawu’s Milton Estrice says, “There’s been no talks with management, Rome is burning and they are writing love letters; but one thing is clear staff will not stop this strike until there is engagement and an amicable solution found.

“So on Wednesday we marched to let the Vice Chancellor know that he cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening and we have given him a memorandum indicating that staff has taken a vote of no confidence in him because he has failed to engage the union for the past three days.”

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