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UCT signs historic agreement to insource services

Oct 29 2015 09:34

Cape Town – The University of Cape Town (UCT) signed an historic agreement with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) on Wednesday to insource six of its outsourced services.

Cleaning of residences (Metro), cleaning of university buildings (Supercare), catering in student residences (C3), grounds and gardening services (Turfworks), campus protection services (G4S) and student and staff transport services (Sibanye) will now be insourced after the current (in brackets) lease agreements expire.

This follows weeks of protests around student fee increases, which resulted in a 0% deal announced by President Jacob Zuma last Friday.

UCT student also protested about unfair working conditions, pushing for the insourcing of these services.  

UCT vice chancellor Max Price and Nehawu chairperson Mzomhle Bixa said in a joint statement on Thursday that the services will be insourced as each of the contracts terminates.  

Nehawu agreed to ensure that the employees of the outsourced companies return to work over the next two days so that the critical functions of campus protection, human resources, finance department, academic administration, residence cleaning and waste removal, wellness services.  “We hope the library will be open on Friday,” they said.

“We now need to work, with Nehawu and student leaders, to address outstanding issues relating to enabling the consolidation period and exams to be proceed,” they said. “We recognise we have collective responsibility to ensure that the university will return to full operations by 2 November.”

Price said on Wednesday that UCT is aware that insourcing will incur significant costs.

“The recent wave of student and worker protests at UCT and nationally – for lower fees and for insourcing workers – has emboldened us to commit to finding the money somehow,” he said in a message to students and staff. “Across the institution there now appears to be widespread support for moving away from outsourcing.”

“The university has over the years grappled with the issue of insourcing/outsourcing,” he said. “A decision to insource was always complicated by the fact that it would have severe financial implications.

“Recognising the potential of outsourcing to create exploitative conditions of service for workers, we believe UCT has done the most to protect outsourced workers, not only amongst the universities of the country but arguably amongst all companies that outsource.”

The signed agreement.

uct  |  nehawu  |  labour


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