Wage negotiations between the employer and labour at the University of South Africa have deadlocked. This as labour unions demand an 8% wage increase, but the employer is offering a 6% increment. The strike has left over 300 000 students stranded as over 7 000 workers, across the country, downed tools. The strike has been going on for almost two weeks now.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) UNISA branch secretary Unathi Hontoti says workers have rejected the employer’s 6% wage increase.
“Workers are demanding a living wage. Workers are demanding 8% as a living wage and the employer has decided to give us 6%. Currently, where we are seated and obviously it is not an official stand point of an employer, it is 6.3. But where we are seated, we know that on record we have 6.6% which technically when we do differentiation, it goes to 6.2.”
Meanwhile, Acting Director for Communications at Unisa Dr Lusani Netshitomboni says the strike is having an adverse impact on the university’s activities. Netshitomboni urges students to make use of the online services.
“The impact is very bad because we have a situation where a lot of our students are not able to register because of the strike. You will recall that the initial closing date for the university was the first of February, but of course because of the situation that we are faced with; it was extended to the seventh of February – with the hope that by then – the strike would have been concluded. What is happening is that we are encouraging our students to register online. If you are not able to get to campus to get assistance, go online and finalise your application of registration process.”