UCT strikes deal with union over its con­tract work­ers

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - Mar­vin Charles – mar­vin.charles@inl.co.za

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.

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