Union to meet Stellenbosch bosses
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”.