Strike called off after amicable negotiations
THE University of Cape Town (UCT) yesterday announced it had reached agreements with trade unions and managed to call off the threat of a strike following amicable negotiations.
The announcement followed after the university and the trade unions concluded the ongoing negotiation processes.
The parties had reached a significant degree of common ground last week and further negotiations continued this week on outstanding points.
While negotiations were taking place, one union also gave notice at the weekend of a proposed strike today.
The negotiation process this week saw outstanding issues resolved and the cancellation of the threat to strike.
UCT vice-chancellor, Dr Maxwell Price, said: “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.”
“If the terms of the agreement can be successfully implemented it will provide a good example of what can be achieved when parties commit to meeting interests on both sides of the table.
“With improved efficiency in the catering shift system, the agreement should not impose an additional financial burden.
“This will be crucial for UCT and its recognised unions in the forthcoming collective bargaining cycle.”
The agreement established 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 in-sourcing exercise last year.
In addition, the parties agreed to a work study that would assess reasonable staffing levels across operations, with priority given to the in-sourced operations, resolved concerns about pregnant employees who work shifts, committed to a new shift pattern in residence catering with effect from October 1, that would ensure quality service delivery, an agreement on a time frame to offer fulltime roles to a group of four-hour part-time workers by November 1.
They also resolved a long outstanding dispute over whether Sunday pay and shift allowances were included in a previously agreed cost of employment, with agreement that an additional payment would be made for hours worked on Sundays and at night.
This will be crucial for UCT and its recognised unions in the forthcoming collective bargaining cycle.
SHANGHAI: The world’s oldest captive giant panda has died at the ripe old age of 37, more than 100 in human years, her handlers in China said yesterday as they gave Basi an emotional send-off. The Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Center in southeastern China, where she has lived for 33 years, bid a heartfelt farewell to the bear with a memorial service that featured Basi’s body surrounded by yellow flowers with the tip of her tongue sticking playfully out. White roses, arranged in the shape of a heart, also were laid in front of Basi’s favourite tree. Basi outlived most of her peers by nearly two decades. Pandas in the wild have an average lifespan of about 20 years, but those in captivity generally live longer. She died of liver cirrhosis and kidney failure, the centre, which serves as a zoo known as Fuzhou Panda World, said. – AFP
AVERTED: Through amicable negotiations, the UCT reached an agreement with trade unions and prevented a strike.