Management and workers union, NEHAWU, sign an agreement

Dr Johan van Koller, right, and Linda Nzama, shaking hands after signing the wage agreement, with HR staff and MUT branch NEHAWU members

On 9 May 2023, the University Management, and workers union, NEHAWU, signed a salary increment agreement at the University’s Council Chamber. Both parties said the increase was 4.25%. Other parts of the agreement, as stated by Dr Johan van Koller, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, and Linda Nzama, Full Time Shop Steward, and Branch Secretary, NEHAWU-MUT, were the R4000 once-off non-pensionable payment; an increase of the housing allowance on annual basis indefinitely, from R1700 to R1800; and outstanding collective agreement deferred for a period of not exceeding three months. The increase is applicable to employees within grades 5 to 16. The agreement is for 2023, is effective immediately, and is backdated to January 2023.  This is a culmination of negotiations that began in September last year.

Dr van Koller said the increase offered by Management to NEHAWU “was based on several factors and MUT’s affordability. Factors among others considered were that MUT is primarily NSFAS funded; the University has no third-stream income, fee increase as determined by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and the poor economic climate that the country faces.”

Dr van Koller said it was “encouraging that NEHAWU, after robust negotiations, has accepted the offer made by Management, taking into consideration the Institution’s financial constraints.” Dr van Koller said that during negotiations, both Management and NEHAWU had the best interests of staff and the Institution. “Negotiations are a matter of give and take – so the negotiations were concluded in this spirit. Once again, our sincere thanks to NEHAWU for the constructive way the negotiations unfolded,” said Dr van Koller.