Johannesburg - Wits University academics are planning
industrial action over low salaries at the institution, according to reports on
Members of the Academic Staff Association of Wits University
(Asawu), which represents over 700 academics, intended marching through
Braamfontein on July 19, City Press reported.
It wants the university to implement a 10-year agreement to
pay academics at a higher scale - the 75th percentile of the tertiary education
sector benchmark, the Sunday Independent reported.
Asawu spokesperson Liz Picarra told the Independent 90% of
Wits academics received less than R438 000 a year, below the benchmark.
"We have difficulty filling posts. We are not
attracting academics, because the salaries are not competitive," she was
quoted as saying.
The university is offering a wage increase of 7.5% across
the board for academic staff and 6.8% for support staff, City Press reported.
Wits spokesperson Kgomotso Kasonkola was quoted by both
papers as saying: "This is the best possible offer that the university can
make in order to remain sustainable."
According to the Independent, Wits had offered
above-inflation increases to staff for the past three years.