Durban University of Technology (DUT) workers revealed to The Open Journal yesterday morning, that the storm isn’t over after holding a staff-only meeting which left them emotional.
After seven weeks of vehement protests, the staff at the institution returned to work on 1 March 2018, despite wage talks not being resolved between the labour unions and DUT.
The meeting, which was held at the Cane Growers Hall on ML Sultan Campus, resulted in the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), National Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and Tertiary Education National Union of SA (Tenusa), pledging to take the institution to a labour court as frustrations reached their peak.
“Right now, there’s a lot of issues to be settled in court, but for different things,” a reliable source which The Open Journal independently verified confirmed.
The gathering also addressed the staff’s displeasure with the way in which their concerns were being managed, in addition to the way forward if their demands are not met.
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Staff expressed their unhappiness with the lack of engagement by the university’s vice-chancellor Professor Thandwa Mthembu.
“Things are very tense,” said a staff member at the institution, speaking of the volatility of the dissent. “They [workers] aren’t pleased.”
The weeks of fulmination are not yet particularly over as expected, as in the interim, the workers have temporarily compromised, “peacefully” going about their normal working routines in the hopes of receiving the necessary increase soon.
Almost a month later, lecturers resumed on the 1st of March 2018, with various faculties commencing the academic year.
A third-year journalism student, Nkosazane Dambuza, revealed the ambience of DUT’s City Campus on the returning day. “The atmosphere on campus is pretty chilled,” Dambuza said. “A lot of students did not attend today because they’re a bit sceptical, they think that the strike might still be on.”
In the wakes of the uncertainty amongst students, staff will not back down on their demands despite returning to work.
The parties involved are expected to reassemble at the Cane Growers Hall on Wednesday 7 March for a feedback.