Strike called off af­ter am­i­ca­ble ne­go­ti­a­tions

The New Age (Western Cape) - - News - NA­DINE FORD-KRITZINGER nadinef@the­newage.co.za

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

PIC­TURE : WIKIPEDIA

AVERTED: Through am­i­ca­ble ne­go­ti­a­tions, the UCT reached an agree­ment with trade unions and pre­vented a strike.

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