DUT say unions’ no-show is thwarting end of strike

14 March 2018 - 06:00 By Yasantha Naidoo
Durban University of Technology. File photo
Durban University of Technology. File photo
Image: Times Media

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) say they have been stood up twice by unions representing staff to end the strife that has thrown the institute into chaos over the past eight weeks.

In a statement issued on Tuesday‚ DUT deputy vice-chancellor for people and operations‚ Dr Isaac Machi‚ said despite an in-principle agreement facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration‚ the unions were a no-show to sign the offer.

"On Friday‚ 9 March 2018‚ DUT management learnt that the unions accepted the offer but the signing could not take place either because labour representatives did not avail themselves to sign. The commissioners of the CCMA then advised all parties to meet on Monday‚ March 12‚ 2018 at 3pm to sign.

"DUT management presented itself for the planned meeting‚ however‚ the three unions did not arrive. The parties were once again invited to the CCMA to sign the agreement on Tuesday‚ March 13‚ 2018 at 12pm. Management attended the CCMA‚ but once again the three Unions did not attend‚" the statement read.

Both parties agreed on a salary increase of seven percent across the board‚ including a R200 housing allowance and a waiver of the no-work-no-pay principle.

In addition‚ once the agreement was signed‚ staff would then be able to take advantage of a salary advance - up to a maximum of R12 000 - with repayment options.

It was agreed that back payments relating to the salary increase and housing allowance between January to March would only be implemented in April .

However‚ DUT said as the agreement had not been signed‚ this could "derail the process of implementing its various elements".

The issue of the once-off bonus would be referred to the CCMA for interpretation‚ because Nehawu viewed it as a change in conditions of service‚ as the bonus had been paid to workers for the past eight years. The issue of docking of salaries by the university during the strike would be referred to the Labour Court.

Nehawu's Khaya Xaba didn't immediately respond to queries.