DUT and unions agree to go back to negotiating table after 5-hour meeting
There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for the strife-torn Durban University of Technology.
The intervention of deputy minister of higher education and training Buti Manamela on Tuesday has resulted in management and labour unions agreeing to head back to the negotiating table following a seven-week deadlock over salary increments.
Manamela told TimesLIVE after a marathon five-hour meeting with the parties that they had "agreed to resume with negotiations”.
"They will reactivate the bargaining process."
The CCMA would mediate the process‚ he added.
The deputy minister was hopeful that negotiations would be wrapped up and lectures would resume within this week.
He is not taking credit for breaking the back of the impasse.
“I didn't break the deadlock. This is not my breakthrough. This is a breakthrough of all the parties involved. They came into the meeting with an open mind.
"I know a lot of people said we need to intervene‚ but we could only do so with the agreement of all the parties."
Manamela said he was excited that management and staff had "reached this milestone".
He said negotiations were expected to resume as soon as Wednesday‚ after the unions reported back to their members.
"Before the end of the week we will see our kids back in class."
Manamela added that as soon as striking staff accepted the framework of the agreement between the parties‚ including management and the unions‚ "all other things will fall away”. "This means that the strike is going to be suspended and academic work will resume while negotiations also resume‚" said Manamela.