Union to meet Stel­len­bosch bosses

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOLOYISO MTEMBU

THE NA­TIONAL Ed­u­ca­tion Health and Al­lied Work­ers Union will meet Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity man­age­ment on Mon­day to dis­cuss out­sourc­ing and other worker- re­lated is­sues raised in the trade union’s mem­o­ran­dum this week.

Ne­hawu West Coast Winelands re­gional sec­re­tary Thokozani Mkhize said the meet­ing would ad­dress griev­ances raised at last Mon­day’s meet­ing.

Last week Week­end Ar­gus re­ported the univer­sity had an­nounced the es­tab­lish­ment of a task group to deal with out­sourc­ing.

The univer­sity said the task group would in­ves­ti­gate all out­sourced ser­vices with a view to en­sur­ing a reg­is­ter of out­sourced ser­vices was kept and to de­ter­mine whether all out­sourced ser­vices were man­aged in ac­cor­dance with univer­sity poli­cies.

But the union called on the univer­sity to dis­band the task group as it had acted uni­lat­er­ally in set­ting it up. The univer­sity should in­stead es­tab­lish a joint bar­gain­ing fo­rum com­pris­ing all out­sourced com­pa­nies, univer­sity man­age­ment, or­gan­ised labour and pro­gres­sive stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tions, Mkhize said.

In its mem­o­ran­dum, Ne­hawu called on the univer­sity to di­rectly em­ploy all work­ers in out­sourced ser­vices. They also called for a R10 000 min­i­mum wage for work­ers and ac­cess em­ployee ben­e­fits.

Ac­tivist group Open Stel­len­bosch Col­lec­tive, which sup­ported the work­ers’ meet­ing this week, said the univer­sity should at­tend to work­ers’ griev­ances.

“A prin­ci­pled call for in­sourc­ing ac­knowl­edges the key role that work­ers play in the ef­fi­cient func­tion­ing of the cam­pus as im­por­tant mem­bers of the univer­sity com­mu­nity, which is why we sup­port it.


“Out­sourced work­ers re­port lower wages than those em­ployed di­rectly by the univer­sity for do­ing ex­actly the same work.

For ex­am­ple, cam­pus se­cu­rity work­ers do­ing ex­actly the same job as G4S se­cu­rity offi- cers earn over R50/hour, while G4S work­ers get paid about the min­i­mum wage, which is close to half of that,” Open Stel­len­bosch said.

“The low wages paid by out­sourc­ing com­pa­nies force work­ers to work over­time to earn a suf­fi­cient wage to be able to care for their fam­i­lies, some­times over the le­gal limit of max­i­mum over­time.”

The col­lec­tive said it was “un­think­able that work­ers who have been work­ing on the cam­pus for decades are un­likely to see their chil­dren use the fa­cil­i­ties that they main­tain”, they com­plained.

The univer­sity boasted of its “com­mu­nity in­volve­ment”, yet paid mem­bers of that very same com­mu­nity “poverty wages”.

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