Alan Khan, DUT’s spokesperson, told News24 the strike began on a peaceful note on Monday, but as the week progressed the strike action became more volatile when the striking staff members allegedly “invaded” lectures and “threatened” both students and staff in the university library.
However, Francios van Zyl, chairperson of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at DUT, told News24 the union did not receive any intimidation reports and is of the opinion the striking staff’s behaviour was exemplary.
The reason for the strike action involves demands for a salary increase. Three unions, namely the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, the NTEU of SA and the Tertiary Employees National Union of SA, have demanded a 13 per cent salary increase.
The DUT has offered a general wage increase of six per cent as well as a 1.5 per cent benefit increase.
Khan said the university’s spending on staff remuneration is higher than the average of 58 to 62 per cent. According to Khan, 70 per cent of the university’s income goes towards their staff’s remuneration.
The unions reportedly believe the DUT’s six per cent offer is unreasonable due to claims that average increases at tech universities in the country stand between seven and 8.5 per cent. Van Zyl believes a settlement of nine per cent will be acceptable to the unions if the university management makes the offer.
In an unrelated incident, HumanIPO reported earlier today a student strike in Botswana has resulted in the shutting down of a Limkokwing University tech campus indefinitely.