#DUTStrike: staff salaries docked
Tensions reached new heights at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) yesterday after striking workers discovered that the university had apparently unilaterally docked all staff salaries.
Milton Estrice, spokesperson for the DUT crisis committee, said the the university had no legal recourse to dock salaries during a protected strike.
However, the university said it was within its legal rights and trade unions were aware of this.
Estrice said the university had also docked non-striking workers' salaries.
DUT lectures to start despite strike
“They were not given pay slips nor were explanations offered. Also the docking is not on an equal percent basis, some people had 50% off their salary docked, others 65% and 80% with some not getting salaries at all," Estrice said.
Estrice said the committee had written to management to ask for pay slips and an explanation for the deductions.
“This was management's strong tool to cripple the strike but it has not worked. They are heartless and act unilaterally," he said.
DUT strike to escalate
"DUT has no place for dictatorship and staff will root dictatorship out of this university.”
Estrice said staff remained resolute that the university would not be able to operate until the salary dispute had been resolved.
The wage strike is now well into its sixth week after wage talks were suspended due to a stalemate in negotiations between university management and trade unions.
DUT senior director of corporate affairs, Alan Khan, said the university had implemented the “no work no pay” principle in line with labour legislation.
Khan said wage negotiations remained deadlocked and all lectures had been suspended until further notice.
Workers said they had expected Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Buti Manamela to intervene and address them and DUT Vice Chancellor Thandwa Mthembu yesterday. However, when Manamela did not arrive, the workers claimed that Mthembu had written to him, promising he would have resolved the strike by yesterday.
However, Khan said the university had not asked the minister to intervene but it had sent regular progress reports to Minister of Higher Education, Hlengiwe Mkhize.