WSU wage dispute reply
Aug 27 2012 3:09PM

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Sithandiwe Velaphi

Embattled Walter Sisulu University (SWU) said a formal response on wage negotiations was expected today and would hopefully halt a staff strike which has hit the university for more than three weeks.

Police were called to calm protesting staff workers on Butterworth, Buffalo City and Mthatha campuses last Friday.

Police spokesperson Capt Jackson Manatha said police were called to dispatch protesters – mainly members of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) – who were burning tyres and throwing rubbish inside the campus.

WSU spokesperson Angela Church said negotiations continued on Friday and concluded with a final agreement between management and union

leaders.

“This agreement will be discussed by labour leaders with their members and a formal response will be given on Monday (Aug 27).

“Nehawu had demanded a 12% salary increase for 2012. Management had offered a nonrecurring once-off payment of 10% on basic salary for staff this year but has adhered to its original position of a 0% salary increase.

“Any salary increase would have a compounding effect on WSU’s fragile financial position for 2013.”

Nehawu provincial secretary Xolani Malamlela had earlier told The New Age that the protest would continue until all their demands were met.

Church also said a catch-up plan was included in the final agreement “so that students would not be academically disadvantaged by the loss of teaching time”.

Thandi Sixesha, a public management student in Butterworth, said: “For three months we have been out of the material which we are supposed to be reading as we will be writing in the first week of October.”

provinces@thenewage.co.za

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