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DUT campus opening delayed by a week due to workers’ strike

Bonile Khanyi

Thousands of Durban University of Technology (DUT) students will not be returning to campus on Monday after the university’s management team announced its decision to delay the start of the academic year by a week.

According to media reports, DUT said on Thursday that its 2018 academic year would be delayed due to an ongoing strike.

Lectures are now expected to begin on Monday, 12 February 2018.

This comes after wage negotiations between three labour unions and the university’s management reached a deadlock on Wednesday.

Last week, The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), the Tertiary Education National Union of South Africa (Tenusa) and National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) demanded an initial 10% salary hike, a R400 increase on their monthly housing allowance and a R9,000 once-off bonus.

The three unions have since dropped their demands to an 8% salary hike, a R350 housing allowance and no once-off bonus.

However, DUT is offering a 6.5% increase for both basic salaries and housing allowances and no once-off bonus.

DUT’s spokesperson Alan Khan said the unions also rejected the university’s request for the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to assist them in the matter.

He also said despite the disruptions caused by the striking workers, students could still register online or on campus as the university remains open.

“While protestors have tried to disrupt student registration‚ the university remains open. Students are registering online,” said Khan.

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