Today's Labour News

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VUTSowetanLive reported on Friday that lecturers, cleaners and security guards were on strike at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), bringing operations to a standstill and leaving its 22,000 students in the lurch ahead of mid-year exams.  

Yet, the university council, its highest decision-making body, could not make any decisions - including about salary increases - because it had too few members for a quorum.  At least nine council members, including the deputy chairperson, have resigned since October.  The head of the council, Tebogo Hlapalosa, advised staff in a letter as follows:  "Having promised that we shall come back to you with a written response by no later than May 2, we wish to advise that the council meeting could not take any decision on the issues raised due to the fact the meeting did not quorate (insufficient members) [sic].  However, the issues remain in this agenda of the next council and after we have filled all vacant positions."  In a letter on Thursday, vice-chancellor and principal Professor Gordon Zide urged staff to "resume operations as a matter of urgency", promising that a special council meeting would be held on 17 May.  "Staff are requested to please bear with management as the matter is being escalated to council for a resolution," the letter reads.

  • Read the full original of Katharine Child’s report on the strike at SowetanLive


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