After a protest interrupted graduation ceremonies at the University of South Africa (Unisa), the university moved to postpone its graduation timetable.
National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) explained that the protest was caused by Unisa’s decision to pull out of a salary adjustment agreement with workers.
Unisa has today released a statement to inform stakeholders that the issues that sparked the protests have successfully been resolved by the Council of Unisa.
Professor Puleng LenkaBula, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa says the resolution will result in the university returning to operational and academic stability.
LenkaBula says the Human Resources were instructed by management to undertake a research and benchmark study regarding salaries for Academics, Administrative and Professional staff.
However, she says that Human Resources did not comply with the resolutions on the salary adjustments and the benchmark study was never done. She says this exposed Unisa to a collision course with organised labour.
LenkaBula said, “Under normal circumstances, salary adjustments should happen in strict observance of Labour Relations laws, Unisa’s remuneration policies and the internal bargaining and governance frameworks. This did not happen at the required time. It is this violation of governance protocols that have led to the current instability and impasse which has lasted for over five months now”.
Graduation ceremonies have been further postponed to Monday, 28 March 2022. This, as Organised Labour declared that industrial action will only be ceased when the employees have received payment.
Unisa has apologised for the inconvenience caused by the postponements.