Nehawu members. Picture: THULANI MBELE/SOWETAN
Nehawu members. Picture: THULANI MBELE/SOWETAN

Durban University of Technology (DUT) staff should not return to work until management concedes to their 10% wage increase demands, union Nehawu says.

DUT staff embarked on protests on Monday following a breakdown in salary increase negotiations for 2018. Registration at the university has been delayed as a result.

DUT spokesperson Noxolo Memela said: "The DUT had not concluded the 2018 salary negotiations in time for the implementation as of January 1 2018. After several meetings‚ the parties met at the CCMA on December 15 2017‚ where the CCMA issued a strike certificate as the parties had reached a deadlock.

"DUT management assures its stakeholders that registration continues. In this context given the industrial action‚ the university would like to encourage students to register online," Memela said.

But the striking staff have received staunch backing from the National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers Union.

In a statement‚ the union said: "As Nehawu‚ we hold a strong view that the university management‚ especially the vice-chancellor‚ has been treating workers and their demands with sheer arrogance and total disdain. The management has been dragging its feet in finalising salary negotiations and this has left the national union with no option but to approach the CCMA for certificate for a strike….

"The obstinacy of the university management should be blamed for the disruption of the registration of students through their refusal to expedite the salary negotiations, which were meant to be concluded in September 2017."

The union said it believed that the 4% offered by the university was an "insult" to workers who ensured that the university fulfilled its role of providing education, and supported the call for 10%.