Workers’ protests continue at UFS

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Nehawu says they will hand over a memorandum of demands to the University of the Free State on Friday 3 June. Photo by MOEKETSI MOGOTSI

Workers from the National Education Health Allies and Worker’s Union (Nehawu) at the University of the Free State (UFS) went into a second day of protests today as wage negotiations continue.

Nehawu Provincial Organiser, Jabu Makhubo, says members from the QwaQwa campus have also downed tools since yesterday.

Makhubo says workers will return to work once a settlement has been reached.

“We want to handover a memorandum on Friday and we must continue to negotiate. They’ve invited us today where they’re going to take a mandate in terms of taking forward the discussions. We’ve indicated to the university [management] that we’d want to settle at 7.15 % or so but we are prepared to negotiate. Parties must be prepared to negotiate,” says Makhubo.

Meanwhile university spokesperson, Lacea Loader, says the protest has had no effect on the academic and examination process thus far.

“Everything continues as normal on campus, there is no disruption at all. Although we have personnel that have not showed up for work, as they are involved in the protest,” says Loader.

Protests began on Thursday at the University of the Free State. Nehawu Chairperson in Bloemfontein, Thomas Acho, says talks have been ongoing since November and the workers downed tools after every other process was exhausted.

Moeketsi Mogotsi and Mark Steenbok