[DEBATE] : (Fwd) More strike communications
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Mon Feb 13 06:59:10 GMT 2006
(Mass meeting at 10AM at Westville.)
PROPOSALS FROM UKZN EXECUTIVE LIKELY TO BE REJECTED
While agreeing to present two proposals from the University Executive to
their members on Monday 13 February, the four UKZN Unions indicated that
they would have little chance of being accepted.
The first proposal included an immediate award of R4m for "lower paid staff"
(lower support grades) plus the acceptance of our entire original demand
(the additional 4% increase plus a minimum of R250 in housing allowance and
R100 in medical allowance) PROVIDED that an analysis of the University's
finances (which can only be completed after 30 March 2006!) indicates that
the resources are available for such an award. Given that our demand is for
an increase for all staff, and that the strike could not be suspended on the
vague promise of a possible (unguaranteed) future award, we were sure that
this proposal would be rejected.
The second proposal consisted of an award of 2% across the board effective 1
January 2006 PROVIDED we give up our automatic notches from 1 January 2007;
that all staff more than two years away from retirement give up the
encashment of accumulated sabbatical (the others will have this benefit
renegotiated); that the period of closure of the University between
Christmas and New Year be deducted from annual leave and that the
accumulation and encashment of leave be reviewed. While there is an offer of
an additional 2% award, the benefits and automatic notches our members are
required to surrender would have a much higher monetary value. In addition,
the University is introducing new areas of dispute that were not part of the
dispute presented at the CCMA. As a result, we are sure that this proposal
will be rejected too.
Given the likelihood of rejection of these proposals by our members, we have
planned for further strike action at all campuses of UKZN.
Programme of Action
Monday 9:00 Reportback meeting (Pmb: Lower library lawn)
13/2 9:15 Busses leave Edgewood, Howard College and
10:00 Reportback meeting (Westville: Quad)
Tuesday 8:30 Busses leave Pmb
9:15 Busses leave Edgewood, Medical School and
10:00 Staff assembly including academic forum
(In front of Howard College)
Wednesday 9:15 Busses leave Howard College, Medical School and
10:00 Workers' rally and Photo/Film Exhibition (Edgewood)
Thursday 9:15 Busses leave Edgewood, Howard College and
10:00 Workers Cultural Festival (Medical School
Friday 8:30 Busses leave all four Durban campuses
11:00 Public march from Pmb campus to provincial
Monday 8:30 Busses leave Pmb
20/2 9:30 Busses leave all four Durban campuses
10:00 Interdict court case hearing
Public march to coincide with court case
ISSUED BY THE FOUR UKZN UNIONS
COMSA - COMBINED STAFF ASSOCIATION
NEHAWU - UKZN BRANCHES
NTESU - NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION STAFF UNION
UNSU - UNIVERSITY OF NATAL STAFF UNION
Contacts: Kesh Govinder, Fazel Khan, Khethinkosi Mabaso, Lynette Noel
A Revised Proposal from the Executive to the 4 Unions
A. Other Issues
We have agreed to the setting up of a joint Executive/Union task team to
consider the other management issues raised by staff.
We should as a matter of priority set up the joint task team we agreed upon
to put all matters on the table, prioritise these, devise processes for
robust, free and frank discussions within the University community.
B. The Salary Issue
A Response from the 4 Unions to the Executive proposal yesterday.
"In order to take the process forward, we suggest that the University
Executive present a better offer to us that we feel can be presented to our
members. In your revised offer we would like the following issues on item 8
to be addressed. While we again note that the University has finally placed
a firm offer with regards to the salary dispute on the table, we expect to
receive an improved offer that we can present to our members.
We state categorically that the time has passed for the setting up of a task
team to consider the salary dispute. However, we are sure that our members
will be amenable to the setting up of a joint Executive/Union task team to
consider the other management issues raised by staff."
As a principle of discussion and negotiation if an item or a proposal is
rejected totally at a round it should be off the table completely. If an
item or a proposal is rejected in a qualified manner those elements that are
accepted should be carried forward and the qualifications if needing further
clarity should be addressed in the next round. All points of agreement
should be captured.
"In our signed agreement last year, we specifically included an early date
for the beginning of salary negotiations as we did not want a repeat of the
late conclusion to these negotiations. The current timeframes return us to
the undesirable situation of last year. The 4 Unions.
This is true and the Executive accept this.
In our last year signed collective agreement we also agreed on a guaranteed
minimum increase of 4% effective 1 January 2006 which could be reviewed
based on assessment of CPI, CPIX and the financial position of the
University for that year (refer to paragraph 5 of the Collective Agreement).
We are therefore jointly bound by these two statements and should honour
both equally and not selectively choose one and ignore the other. As has
been pointed out the financial position for the 2006 University budget will
only become certain by 30th March 2006.
1. The Executive recognizes that salaries of all staff, particularly those
in the grades 11-17 within our institution are on average below the norm and
are rapidly falling behind our competitors; we further recognize the urgency
of this issue.
2. The Executive is in full support of a salary increase of all staff within
the University. We are not an adversary.
3. "We are pleased to note that you are in full support of a salary increase
for all staff, and that the lagging of UKZN staff salaries behind the market
norms is recognised." The 4 Unions
4. Any salary increase in an organization is linked to the financial
performance, conditions of service, the prevailing CPI and CPIX. The
percentage increase has to take into account the feasibility of such an
increase and its impact on the sustainability of the University. The
University is by law bound to demonstrate through its three year "rolling
plan" that it is both sustainable and that expenditure falls within the
norms prescribed by the Department of Education in order to qualify and
receive its subsidy.
5. A comprehensive review of the current Conditions of Service is closely
linked to making more resources available to the University's budget and
hence the salary issue.
6. A review of the Conditions of Service and the financial performance of
the University with regards the 2006 budget can only be confirmed after the
1st quarter of the year when the registration process is complete and
Council has the opportunity to review the budget.
1st PROPOSAL ADDRESSING QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE 4 UNIONS
a. The Executive is committing R4million with immediate effect be allocated
to the lower paid workers, the mechanism of allocation (a percentage
increase or a once off payment) and definition of qualifying staff should be
mutually agreed upon.
b. i) "The salary demand from the Unions is an additional increase of 4%
across the board as well as an increase of a minimum of R250 in housing
allowance and R100 in medical allowance. Your proposal did not mention
either of the allowance increases indicated above." The 4 Unions
This demand in (b. i) is accepted in its entirety and is in addition to (a)
and should be addressed in one of two ways:
i) The demand should be addressed fully soon after the
30th March when the financial position of the University is certain as per
our Collective Agreement (refer paragraph 5).
ii) These funds and quantum increment will be contingent
A review and recommendations on items 4, 5 and 6.
Council approval of the proposal, recommendations and the revised
It is suggested that this process is completed fully (from start to
implementation) not later than 30th April 2006.
ii) At the CCMA hearing on 16 January 2006, the University's negotiating
team made a monetary offer of R8 million to the Unions. That offer was
rejected by all four Unions. We are surprised that your current proposal
includes an amount that is substantially less than the already rejected
"In any negotiations any offer that is totally rejected never gets back to
the table; it was my understanding that R4.5m was targeted for salary
harmonization-which is not under discussion now." The Executive
iii) Item 1 of your proposal states that grades 11-17 are particularly worse
off with regard to market norms. Item 6 commits an award for 'lower paid
workers'. When read together these statements are ambiguous. The Remchannel
analysis provided to us by the University also suggests that some of your
information is incorrect. In any event, we wish to point out that our salary
demands have always been for ALL UKZN staff.
"Items 1 & 6 should be read to mean grades 11-17. My proposal is premised on
the principle that the matter is for all UKZN staff as articulated in items
1 & 2.The intention with reference to the 'lower paid workers' is an
acknowledgement that it is this cohort that experiences the most financial
hardship and deserve a prioritization." The Executive
While we have been asked to revise our proposal/offer in relation to the
salary issue, we have seen no such revisions or movement from the side of
the 4 Unions since the start of this process
The University response to the three issues is set out hereunder:
1.. The University is prepared to allocate a further 2% across the board
effective from January 2006. There will be no adjustment in either the
housing or medical allowance in view of the need to review Conditions of
Service. This allocation is subject to agreement on the immediate review of
the Conditions of Service to bring it into line with the needs of the
University taking into account the Public Sector and Tertiary Sector
conditions. Whilst all provisions will be reviewed in the context of the
earlier statement the following will receive immediate attention:
1.. Removal of automatic notch.
There will be no automatic notch from January 2007. This amount will form
part or the entire performance budget for the 2007 year. It is anticipated
that the Performance Management System be finalized by July 2006 as agreed
by the University's Staffing Committee
2.. Encashment of Sabbatical Leave
The immediate withdrawals of this benefit save for those who are currently
two years away from retirement where such benefit will be renegotiated.
Sabbatical leave entitlement will remain a cherished principle of promoting
scholarship and academic excellence.
3.. Review of Annual Leave Entitlement
The immediate withdrawal of paid leave in the period between Christmas and
New Year, as a benefit. These days will be deducted from the annual leave
entitlement. A reduction in the accumulation of annual leave to a reduced
number of days and a review of the encashment policy.
4.. It is proposed that whilst these revisions are being negotiated that
new employees move on to a new set of conditions where such conditions will
make it clear that there will be no encashment of sabbatical leave, annual
leave accumulation will not exceed 45 days and that they will be subject to
other changes of conditions of service which are being revised.
i) Each of these proposals is a complete package and should be considered as
such. They are both contingent on resource availability and approval by
Response to "Revised Proposal from the Executive to the 4 Unions"
The 4 UKZN Unions will present the two proposals from the University to our
members on Monday 13 February 2006. We are certain that neither of these
proposals will be acceptable to our members.
We have already covered objections to Proposal 1 in a previous submission.
The likely reason for the rejection of Proposal 2 is that, while the
University has made an offer of 2% from January 2006, our members are
required to give up various benefits and the automatic notch (for the
majority of our members) which will have a monetary value far in excess of
the 2% award. In addition, this proposal introduces new areas of dispute
that were not part of the dispute presented at the CCMA.
D Radebe: For and on behalf of COMSA
L Noel: For and on behalf of NEHAWU
K S Govinder: For and on behalf of NTESU
K Mabaso: For and on behalf of UNSU
12 February 2006
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