WHILE classes are currently underway at universities across the country, more than 21 000 registered students at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) will have to sit at home, following the indefinite suspension of lecturers at the institutions. The decision by the Executive Committee of Senate is in response to an ongoing strike by university staff, which began in early January.
The negotiations between the university management and the Unions have been deadlocked with management offering a 6.5% increase in basic salary and a 6.5% housing allowance‚ without a once-off bonus, while the unions are demanding an 8% increase and a R350 hike in the housing allowance.
University spokesperson Alan Khan, said: “The University will announce a revised 2018 academic calendar as soon as possible. Although lectures have been suspended until further notice, DUT remains open.
Students who have not yet registered, can still register online, via the DUT website, www.dut.ac.za or alternatively, in person, at the Riverside Campus in Pietermaritzburg or at any of the Durban registration venues. Students can email email@example.com for assistance with registration or call 0313735005 during office hours.”
“DUT would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused during this challenging time. The University would like to thank all its stakeholders for their continued understanding, support and patience. DUT remains committed towards resolving the current salary deadlock. Both staff and students are urged to keep checking the DUT website for all official University announcements,” Khan added.
Meanwhile, the Federations of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has written an urgent letter to Higher Education and Training Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize asking her to intervene in the five week wage negotiations impasse at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
“It is absolutely tragic that the academic processes at DUT commenced on such a rocky footing just yesterday (13 February 2018), with the majority of classes being suspended as a result of the deadlock. Whilst FEDUSA affiliated personnel from TENUSA and NTEU continue to endure hard line negotiations for a decent living wage, it looks like management remains totally ignorant of the plight of students,” said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.
“FEDUSA would therefore like to appeal for your urgent intervention in your capacity as minister of higher education and training to ensure that a speedy resolution is facilitated and finalised as a matter of priority. The federation remains a staunch advocate of social dialogue and is of the opinion that your direct involvement in the matter will reverse the regressive stance that has overshadowed this process at DUT,” concluded George.