Unisa strike ends after an agreement was reached

Zodidi Mhlana
JOHANNESBURG- The National, Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) on Friday said that its strike at the university of South Africa (Unisa) had ended after the two parties reached an agreement.
Nehawu members at Unisa embarked on a strike last Wednesday demanding
 a 12% increase, while the university was offering 7%.
In a statement, the union on Friday announced workers would receive an increase of between 6.5% to 8.5%.
“Nehawu has reached an agreement with the University of South Africa to bring a long strike of 8 days to an end which was as a results of the intransigent of the Unisa management. The wage increase agreement is on a sliding from 6.5% to 8.5% for the lowest paid workers,” Nehawu said.
The trade union said that the agreement would benefit some low paid workers such as cleaners and security personnel. 
The agreement also include a massive increase on salaries for security personnel and cleaners with a salary increase of 20% and 18% respectively. The union has further registered a victory on retaining performance bonuses of R112 millions to be paid to all qualifying workers in line with the Integrated Performance Management System [IPMS] to be implemented in February 2018. Workers will also share performance bonuses to be backdated to 1st January 2018,” Nehawu said.
The union also said that the university had agreed to permanently employ contract workers.
Both parties also agreed on a process to absorb ICT workers who have been on contract for 15 years by no later than the 31st of March 2018 as per the LRA amendments,” it said.

Unisa’s Martin Ramotshela confirmed that the protest had been called off.

“This process has been conducted taking into account the financial situation of the university and the realities experienced by the sector. The situation has been compounded by various factors affecting the fiscus as well as uncertainty linked to policy changes within the sector.  The latest fee free higher education is yet to be clearer in terms of this impact later this year,” the institution said.