Striking Unisa workers demand 9% salary increase

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members have been on strike since Friday

29 January 2020 - 09:21 By IAVAN PIJOOS
Unisa has offered lecturers and admin staff a six-percent increase.
Unisa has offered lecturers and admin staff a six-percent increase.
Image: Dudu Zitha/Sunday Times

Lecturers and admin staff at Unisa are on strike over a nine-percent salary increase.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members downed tools on Friday. 

Union spokesperson Khaya Xaba said workers were demanding nine percent, while Unisa was offering six percent.

Xaba said they dropped the initial demand of 15%.

“While the negotiations are taking place, the strike will continue until management meets our demands.

“The idea of negotiations is to find common ground.”

Xaba said all members countrywide reported to the “picket line” on Wednesday morning.

“Negotiations don’t necessarily mean a deal, so until then we are trying other avenues to find common ground with the employer.”

On Monday, the SA Union of Students (Saus), student representative presidents and secretaries-general called for a national shutdown of all universities.

Universities across the country have been affected.

Unisa spokesperson Dr Lusani Netshitomboni said the workers' strike and the national shutdown by students have hampered operations at campuses across the board.

“Our campuses have already indicated that they are going to join that national shutdown. These two factors are having a huge impact on the registration process.

“The campuses are not closed, the employees are simply not coming to work, not all of them, just some.”

Netshitomboni urged students to register online.

“Our online system is fully operational. The only problem is that you might have students who don’t have data or connectivity and will need to go to campus.”


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