Today's Labour News

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graduate thumb100 News24 reports that two unions said on Monday that the country needed an urgent explanation about how free education for the poor and academically deserving, announced last month by President Jacob Zuma, would be implemented and paid for.  

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) said:  "It is critical for our institutions, students and our country that the implementation and budget plan be confirmed very soon.  Who's paying for this, how is it going to be done and where is the money coming from?"  Amid concerns over mass walk-ins to universities by students applying for places, NTEU’s Grant Abbott indicated:  "We may have normalised the notion that protests can spark up at any given moment, but we must realise the emotional and psychological toll this has taken on staff.  Add to this the looming threat of retrenchments and the realities of already trimmed resources, a volatile work environment becomes almost unbearable."  NTEU has requested an urgent request with the Higher Education and Training Minister.  The National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) met with the SA Students' Congress (Sasco) at the weekend to discuss the implementation of free education and the organisations agreed to work together to ensure a smooth start to the year.  In a joint statement, they said:  "A meeting will be demanded with government before the delivery of the budget speech to speak to issues of funding and implementation of free education."

Read this report by Jenni Evans in full at News24

Read the Nehawu/Sasco joint statement at Cosatu Today

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page