UCT work­ers march over con­sul­ta­tion

‘In­sourc­ing’ agree­ment queried

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - JAN CRONJE

BAR­RI­CADES went up again on UCT’s lower cam­pus yes­ter­day af­ter­noon as work­ers marched to the Brem­ner Build­ing to meet man­age­ment over work­ing con­di­tions.

In an an­nounce­ment sent to staff and stu­dents at 6.30pm yes­ter­day univer­sity spokes­woman Gerda Kruger said the group of “mostly work­ers” had “dis­puted whether the Ne­hawu ( Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and Al­lied Work­ers Union) joint shop stew­ards coun­cil has rep­re­sented them ad­e­quately in the in­sourc­ing agree­ment”.

Ne­hawu is a Cosatu-af­fil­i­ated trade union which rep­re­sented work­ers in ne­go­ti­a­tions to end out­sourc­ing.

This re­newed dis­pute comes just 10 days af­ter the con­clu­sion of an agree­ment to end out­sourc­ing at the univer­sity, signed on Oc­to­ber 28, be­tween Ne­hawu and UCT. The agree­ment con­cluded that UCT would di­rectly em­ploy pre­vi­ously out­sourced work­ers pro­vid­ing clean­ing, cater­ing, gar­den­ing, pro­tec­tion and trans­port ser­vices. The agree­ment af­fected work­ers from Metro, Su­per­care, G4S, C3, Tur­f­works and Sibanye.

The Week­end Ar­gus un­der­stands the ori­gin of the new dis­pute is that some work­ers felt they were not prop­erly con­sulted be­fore Ne­hawu signed the agree­ment with UCT.

Kruger said UCT man­age­ment was in dis­cus­sions with the group “in an at­tempt to find a way for­ward”. She con­firmed that “some bar­ri­cades” had been erected on lower cam­pus.

An im­age shared from the of­fi­cial so­cial me­dia ac­count of the UCT SRC showed what ap­peared to be a burn­ing rub­bish bin on lower cam­pus near the Leo Mar­quard and Tug­well res­i­dences. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing text read: “Lower cam­pus has been bar­ri­caded.”

An­other tweet from the SRC’s so­cial me­dia ac­count read: “All din­ing halls are closed down and meal vouch­ers are be­ing dis­trib­uted to cater­ing res­i­dences.” The new­ly­elected SRC also re­quested “sup­port for the work­ers ne­go­ti­a­tions at Brem­ner”.

Kruger said in­ter­rup­tions to the Jammie Shut­tle ser­vice were ex­pected.The li­brary has also been closed. Fol­low­ing weeks of protest un­der the # FeesMustFall ban­ner, UCT was one of the first uni­ver­si­ties to agree to end out­sourc­ing. “All out­sourced work­ers who are in the em­ploy of the out­sourced con­trac­tors at the date of trans­fer… will be ab­sorbed into the univer­sity,” read the state­ment signed by Ne­hawu joint shop stew­ards coun­cil chair­man Mzomhle Bixa and UCT vice-chan­cel­lor Max Price on Oc­to­ber 28.

Ex­ams at the univer­sity, with 26 000 stu­dents, are due to start this week. Kruger said they would con­tinue as planned. “In the event of the dis­rup­tion of any ex­am­i­na­tion, we will do every­thing rea­son­ably pos­si­ble to pro­vide for an al­ter­na­tive ex­am­i­na­tion within the ex­am­i­na­tion pe­riod.

“UCT will pur­sue dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against any stu­dent or staff mem­ber who con­trib­utes to the dis­rup­tion of ex­ams. This could lead to ex­pul­sion.” UCT would “re­quire out­sourced com­pa­nies to do the same with re­spect to those em­ploy­ees who dis­rupt ex­ams”.

The Week­end Ar­gus could not con­tact Ne­hawu or the new rep­re­sen­ta­tives cho­sen by the protest­ing work­ers at the time of go­ing to print last night. TIDES High to­day . .12.43am, 12.53pm To­mor­row . . . . .1.21am, 1.27pm Low to­day . . . . .6.43am, 7.17pm To­mor­row . . . . .7.19am, 7.47pm Spring tides . . . . . . . . . . .Nov 11

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nov 26 Neap Tides . . . . . . . . . . . .Nov 19

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dec 3

SUN/MOON Sun­rise to­day . . . . . . . . . .5.41am Sun­set to­day . . . . . . . . .7.20pm Moon rises to­day . . . . . .3.22am Moon sets to­mor­row . . .5.35pm

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