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Wits reaches agreement with students on outsourcing

01 November 2015 - 20:40 By RDM News Wire

The University of the Witwatersrand‚ the scene recently of student protests over proposed fee hikes which have subsequently been waived‚ has reached an agreement with workers and students on outsourcing.

Outsourcing was one of the contentious issues raised by students in their demands to the university.

In a statement on Sunday‚ Professor Tawana Kupe‚ the university’s deputy vice-chancellor for Transformation‚ HR and Advancement‚ said that following two days of engagement with the representatives of outsourced workers and students‚ the university had agreed in principle to insourcing.

He said a commission would be established to determine the details of how insourcing could be undertaken in a financially sustainable manner.

“In the upcoming week‚ the workers’ representatives‚ students‚ academics and management will determine who will serve on the commission. The representatives will report on the progress of establishing the commission on 6 November 2015‚” Prof Kupe said.

He added that in terms of the agreement‚ the Commission would negotiate the contents of a proposed Workers Charter; a Memorandum of Understanding on the way forward would be drafted; and the children of outsourced workers who qualified to study at Wits‚ would receive financial aid from the university.

The R1‚500 examination supplementary fee would also be waived.

Moreover‚ qualifying‚ financially-stressed final year students in 2015 who owed R15‚000 or less‚ would not be required to pay this amount in order to graduate‚ as this might prevent them from finding a job.

“It is proposed that the examination period be postponed for one week. It will run from 9 November 2015 to 4 December 2015. This is subject to approval from Senate‚ the highest academic decision-making body of the University.

“The University is of the view that through engagement with various stakeholder groups‚ we have reached a point of unification that will allow the University to return to normality with a focus on the examinations for the remainder of the year‚” Prof Kupe concluded.

RDM News Wire.

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