The National Education Health & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) is preparing for a strike at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to demand a salary review.
“The looming strike is as a result of the failed negotiations in the Bargaining Council between the employer and Nehawu,” the union said.
The workers are also demanding full-time employment of workers who are on fixed term contracts and the elevation of lowest paid cleaners from level two to level three.
“All these demands were submitted to the employer at a bargaining council meeting on September 20 last year and at another bargaining council meeting which sat on October 24. Both meetings turned out to be fruitless exercises, with no hope of a favourable end in sight,”Nehawu said.
The union said it had noted the decision by NSFAS to centralise its application system, however it believes that it will have a serious impact on the livelihoods of staff employed in the financial aid offices in universities and TVET colleges, as they will end up being deemed surplus to requirements due to poor migration functions.
“As Nehawu, we reject any extra workload that will be assigned to the NSFAS staff based at the Wynberg offices as a result of poor planning by the NSFAS management,” the union said.
The union said the lack of cooperation by the employer had left workers with no option but to go on strike.
“This is an unfortunate and painful decision to take, considering that it might affect working class and poor students who have to apply to NSFAS for funding for the 2018 academic year.
“We hope the employer will put measures in place to avert the strike as it might have dire consequences for the working and poor,”the union said.
NSFAS had not responded at the time of going to print.