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witsuniversityGroundUp reports that negotiations between University of Witwatersrand (Wits) management and workers’ unions ended in a stalemate on Monday.  

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the majority union at Wits, and the National Health Education & Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) represented the workers at the meeting.  The strike started on Tuesday last week, with the workers demanding a 12% increase in salaries and Wits offering 8%.  While the negotiations were taking place, about 200 workers waited for Wits management to sign an agreement that had apparently been reached on the weekend.  The agreement was that workers in lower level positions would receive a 9.2% increase while the higher level positions would receive a 7.8% increase.  But, Nehawu’s Sam Mangena reported back to them that there were some “discrepancies” in the agreement Wits management had drafted so it had to be sent to the unions’ lawyers to examine.  One discrepancies was that workers would not be paid for time on strike.  Another related to the union’s demand that salaries be harmonised.   Mangena cautioned workers about the fact that Wits had obtained an interdict prohibiting workers from threatening staff and students and from blocking entrances.  According to Nehawu’s Columbus Ncuthe, the unions and Wits management had indeed agreed on the salary increases, but had not agreed that the entry level workers should earn at least R124,000 per annum.

  • Read this report by Zoë Postman in full at GroundUp
  • See too, Universities and staff locked in wage talks, on page 2 of The Star of 30 January 2018

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