The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) says they will keep the University of South Africa (Unisa) on lockdown as long as negotiations with the institution’s management do not yield the desired results.

Khaya Xaba, Nehawu’s spokesperson, says negotiations are currently deadlocked as they are not satisfied with the offer being made by management.

“The strike is continuing and we have barricaded all entrances to all Unisa campuses,” he says.

Xhaba says they have been offered different wage increases according the different salaries and positions that staff members hold.

The break-down is as follows:
  • Level P5 staff members are the highest paid members, which is university management, who are being offered a 5% wage increase.
  • Level P7 staff members include lecturers and administration staff who are being offered a 6.5% wage increase.
  • Level P8 to 19 staff members are domestic staff and general workers who are being offered an 8% wage increase.

Nehawu is demanding a 10% increase across the board.

Asked how they feel the strike will affect students and the learning process, Xaba says that is not their concern.

“If anyone is to blame it’s management, not us. The ball is in their court. We have done everything to show that our workers deserve their increase,” he says.

The Department of Higher Education and Training told DRUM that it would not get involved in management issues that affect the day-to-day running of the institution.

Nehawu says their next meeting should be held at 6 pm tonight and if demands are not met, the strike will continue indefinitely.