UCT strikes deal with union over its contract workers
UCT HAS struck a deal with its contract workers after lengthy negotiations between union representatives and the university management.
UCT’s executive board said an agreement had been reached which put the brakes on a proposed strike.
Both parties had agreed to a work study that would assess reasonable staffing levels across operations, with priority given to the insourced operations. They had also resolved concerns about pregnant employees who worked shifts.
Previously it had been agreed that over 60 temporary four-hour shift workers would be made full time by November 1.
The workers would also be given additional payments for hours worked on Sundays and at night.
Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price said: “The agreement establishes a joint consultative forum and a small special task team on which all recognised trade unions may be represented to tackle any residual issues following the insourcing exercise last year.”
“We believe that the spirit in which negotiations were conducted, involving representatives of five different trade unions, provides a positive signal that effective collective bargaining is possible even with multiple parties and in an extremely challenging financial environment,” Price said.
Student leaders and student activists have welcomed the outcome of the meeting. “The students are very happy that the negotiations have worked out and we will still be involved in the negotiation process,” SRC president Seipati Tshabalala said.
She also said they remained wary about the current predicament. “As SRC leaders we are very happy but we have our doubts,” Tshabalala said.
Last week students and workers threatened to shut down the university if their demands were not met. The university’s management secured an interdict against the proposed strike.
Meanwhile, CPUT students continued to protest at the Cape Town and Bellville campuses.
Yesterday the university welcomed its new chancellor, Thandi Modise, chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. She succeeds ex-finance minister Trevor Manuel.