Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) at the University of South Africa (Unisa) downed tools on Wednesday morning after reaching a deadlock over salary increment with the institution.

The Sunnyside campus entrance in Pretoria was barricaded, putting operations on a halt. Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela says negotiations are continuing.

“They did serve us with a notice of intention to embark on strike action after we deadlocked on salary increases for the 2018 financial year. We deadlocked at a percentage of 6, 5% which we were offering as the employer. But then I can confirm that we did make a move yesterday (Tuesday) were we increased to the offer of about 7% which they declined. Currently they have been in negotiations at the CCMA since this morning (Wednesday) and those negotiations are on-going and we are hoping that we will reach a settlement with them.”

Meanwhile, Ramotshela says they are adamant workers will be back at work on Thursday and university operations will resume.

“We made some interventions as management of the university where we engaged with labour in terms of the legalities of some of the activities that have taken place with regard to blocking entrances of the university and preventing other people from accessing our campus. They have since agreed to do the right thing and move away from the entrances of the university. With effect from tomorrow (Thursday), staff will be back at their workplaces and we should be able to open and service our clients.”

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