Johannesburg - An ongoing labour dispute at the University of Witwatersrand will be suspended until next year, the Academic Staff Association of Wits University (Asawu) said on Wednesday.
Asawu said the union was putting the interests of students first as they would begin studying and taking examinations soon and should not be affected by an industrial action at this time.
"It is a pity that the current Wits leadership lacks the commitment to students and to the institution as a whole that Wits' academic and support staff have shown," the union said in a statement.
Asawu has been in dispute with the university for the past several months with its fellow staff unions the Administration, Library and Technical Staff Association (Altsa), and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).
Asawu spokeswoman Kezia Lewins said Nehawu was caucusing its members for a mandate to also suspend any industrial actions until next year.
She said Altsa had already indicated it would sign an agreement with the university.
Asawu said in its statement that the university would have new deputy vice-chancellors for academics, finance, operations and human resources.
"It is hoped that they will seek to resolve the crisis they inherit from the outgoing leadership, by engaging with Asawu and Nehawu in negotiations which are embarked upon in a spirit of good faith."
Asawu is demanding that Wits put into effect an existing policy that would improve the salaries of academics to an average above that of the industry.
Nehawu wants a 9% increase for support staff and a sliding scale to improve the wages of those who are paid the lowest at Wits.
The unions have embarked on two one-day strikes and have accused the university of negotiating in bad faith.
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