The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) supports the protected strike of TENUSA (Tertiary Education National Union of South Africa) (NTEU) National Tertiary Education Union who had embarked on industrial action together with NEHAWU, at the Durban University of Technology which started on the 15 January 2018.
The industrial action relates mainly to salary increases and also addresses some issues relating to poor labour-management relations.
Members of all three unions are unhappy about salary increments for 2018 which was meant to be concluded before September 2017.
After two meetings with management the negotiations deadlocked with the combined labour demands being: 10% increase on basic salary, a R400 a month increase in the housing allowance and a once-off bonus in December 2017 of R9000. The managements offer was maintained at 4% on basic salary.
A dispute was declared and the matter was referred to the CCMA. On the 15 December 2017, there was no movement on the part of management and a strike certificate was issued to combined labour.
On the 9 January 2018 a last effort was made to meet with management to try to resolve the impasse but this was futile. On the 10 January 2018 the management was issued with 48 hour’s notice of intention to embark on strike action.
Staff morale is at an all-time low at the DUT due to the closed door policy of the Vice Chancellor: Professor T Z Mthembu because it makes him distant from the people on the ground.
The trade unions remains committed to resolving the salary impasse as it is a critical time of the year for staff, students and parents. FEDUSA is therefore hopeful that management recognizes this and speedily engages with the labour representatives with an improved offer.