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More universities go for insourcing

An agreement on the insourcing of campus services has been signed at the University of Pretoria while The National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said it had been asked to accept an 8% increase for its members at UCT, down from the 10%, to fund insourcing too.

The University of Pretoria and a Commission on Insourcing, representing relevant parties including elected representatives of contract workers, students, organised labour and University Management, signed an agreement on 20 January.

The members of the Commission agreed on issues identified in the agreement, including salaries and benefits, job security, return to work and the insourcing process.
They also agreed on a Task Team, consisting of representatives of all the stakeholders, to oversee the way forward an implementation process.

Salary negotiations for staff at the University of Cape Town had to be re-opened following the student protests that started late last year.

UCT's fee hike would have been 11%. This was dropped to 10.3% after negotiations with the SRC. During the protests students rejected Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's proposed 6% nationwide cap on fee hikes. Eventually, President Jacob Zuma announced a decision to freeze fees.

The lower increase for Academic Union members meant a professor's salary would increase from R967 265 to R1 015 628 per annum, an associate professor's from R766 445 to R804 767, a senior lecturer's from R649 534 to R682 011 and a lecturer's from R528 275 to R554 689.

Nehawu said although it was disappointing to have to renegotiate its increase, it considered the university's decision last year to stop outsourcing a great victory. The university decided to stop outsourcing from six companies, and to hire those employees directly.

"Big outsourcing started in 1999, so to us it is a huge victory. Now that we have been successful, we are not going to stop," said Abrahams.

The UCT Employees Union was still renegotiating its increases for 2016.

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