Striking DUT staff protest outside the Vice Chancellors office in Durban. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN
Striking DUT staff protest outside the Vice Chancellors office in Durban. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

Striking staffers at the troubled Durban University of Technology (DUT) were incensed on Tuesday after discovering that their salaries had been slashed.

The ongoing strike impasse is in its sixth week and more than 21‚000 students have been forced to sit at home after the university decided to suspend lectures indefinitely on Friday.

A striking staff member said many were infuriated. "We are not sure how they calculated the pay for the month. We have received bank notifications but we have not been given our pay slips as yet‚" the angry staffer said. "It seems the attendance registers DUT keeps are incorrect. It looks like about 20 days of pay has been docked. They are calling for a real fight."

Staff are paid on the 20th of the month. Another full-time staff member‚ who has been at the institution for 12 years‚ said she wasn’t paid. "We have been phoning and e-mailing this morning‚ but we haven’t got any word from them."

The executive committee of DUT’s senate took the decision to suspend the lectures on Friday. It is understood that part-time non-striking staff have also been affected by the pay cut. One part-time lecturer‚ who did not want to be named‚ said he had received no salary for February.

The impasse is over the proposed salary increases for 2018. Management is offering a 6.5% increase in basic salary and a 6.5% housing allowance‚ without a once-off bonus. Unions are demanding an 8% increase and a R350 hike in the housing allowance.

DUT said it would respond to questions on Tuesday.