The University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape has seen its academic calendar disrupted following strike action by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union on Tuesday.
According to a report by News24, lecturers and other staff members who are part of the union disrupted exam venues, bringing the university’s East London and Alice campuses to a standstill.
Exams are reportedly set to take place next semester.
The strike action follows the deadlocking of salary negotiations between Nehawu and the university.
“This comes after the CCMA issued the union with a certificate of non-resolution because the employer vehemently refused to concede to workers’ demands,” a statement issued by the union read.
Nehawu further accused the university of “deliberately postponing the bargaining forum since last year” without providing “tangible reasons.
The union is demanding a salary increment of 12 percent across the board, a notch increase of five percent, a housing allowance of R500 and a review of the condition of services.
The university countered with an increase of six percent, a housing allowance of R100 and an allowance of R150 for casual workers. Nehawu rejected the offer.
“Fort Hare University is currently not compensating workers in line with the national market like the other 25 universities in the country thus leading the institution to fail to attract the required quality talent from the academic pool and support staff,” the statement said.
The union further called the university’s offer “brutal”.
“The national union believes that the demands by workers are reasonable and the university does not have concrete reasons why they should not implement them. If the university is serious about continuing with its unquestionable history of producing exceptional leaders it must take care of its most prized assets which is its human resources,” the union said.
Both sides have said that they are open to negotiations.