UCT administrative and support staff continue strike

Photo: Ruairi Abrahams

Photo: Ruairi Abrahams

Published Feb 15, 2024


Cape Town - Union representing professional, administrative support and service (Pass) staff at UCT have entered their second week of strike action, demanding improved working conditions, salary increases, and the waving of the “no work, no pay” principle.

The UCT Employees Union (UCTEU) committee last Tuesday issued a notice that its executive had exhausted all avenues of a non-strike resolution.

Close to 100 members of the UCTEU have gathered at the university’s Bremner Building since Thursday over the demands.

The Pass staff have demanded a 1.5% wage raise for 2023 and 7.5% for 2024; the prompt release of performance rewards for June 2022 to May 2023; the formation of a united bargaining forum; and addressing issues of bullying.

The union’s deputy president, Tsebo Litabe, said the institution backtracked when it changed the draft agreement that was handed to the union leadership on Sunday evening, and the union was expecting to meet with the university again.

He said they had urged the institution to relax the “no work, no pay” policy, but it refused.

“The union informed its members on Monday that this was a non-negotiable item and that it would only sign an agreement if it was rectified.”

Litabe said the strike was in compliance with picketing guidelines, and they had done nothing illegal.

He added that they wanted to serve the UCT community and the university management had to do their part.

In response to the ongoing strike, UCT spokesperson, Elijah Moholola, said university management met with the UCTEU executive leadership on Saturday to address issues raised in the memorandum of demands handed over on February 8.

“The engagements continue, and good progress has been made. Details will be communicated to the UCT community on resolution of the issues.”

Last week, UCT interim vice-chancellor Daya Reddy said negotiations around the 2024 salary increase continued and were at an advanced stage.

“The UCT management is optimistic about a forthcoming agreement with Pass unions, Detawu, Nehawu and the UCT Employees Union considering the university’s financial situation and staff remuneration needs, despite delays in signing the agreement,” Reddy said.

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