THE Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the #OutsourcingMustFall movement are set for a fall out as the institution says it can’t afford to in-source security services.
The spokesperson for #OutsourcingMustFall Vusi Mahlangu said numerous agreements had been reached but there were certain issues in which the two parties can’t find common ground.
“There has been in-sourcing of the gardening services which we appreciate as a step forward, however, we are in serious disagreement with the process. The management is reneging on the agreement that there would be top ups on the current salaries. There is a rumour that the university intends on advertising a tender for security which will be a complete U-turn on the agreement that no other tender would be opened up until the in-sourcing process is complete,” he said.
Mahlangu said those cleaning the lecture halls were in-sourced last year, and earlier in the week, an agreement was reached for the gardeners to be in-sourced. “Now we are waiting for the in-sourcing of those working in catering and security and those cleaning in the residences. The problems we are encountering with those is that they are not getting top ups to their salaries meaning they are getting the old slavery wages from the out-sourcing companies,”
Institutions of higher learning were besieged by protests in 2016 as workers demanded to be fully employed by the universities.
Many of them gave into the demands but the process is still on-going.
TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said agreements were signed in 2016 based on affordability and sustainability of the university and subject to approval by the university council.
She said it was agreed that in-sourcing would be implemented until 2019 as contracts between the university and the service providers expire.
Since 2016, the university in-sourced 290 cleaning workers and 197 workers in the landscaping services.
She, however, maintained that in-sourcing security guards would financially cripple the institution and for that reason council has decided to out-source the services.
“In 2018, the university will in-source workers who clean in students’ residences. The university remains committed to improving the livelihoods of workers in outsourced services, but this cannot be done to the demise of the university. On security, the university council has decided that this service will not be in-sourced based on financial
considerations. On catering, more work is being done to decide on a modality of in-sourcing of this service,” she said.
De Ruyter added that in January 2017 as part of salary negotiations with National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), the university concluded a collective agreement, which included a provision for an ex gratia payment for employees in landscaping and residence cleaning services.
She said it was in recognition of the delay in them being in-sourced.
Mahlangu said should the security guards not be in-sourced, they will return to the streets and render the institution ungovernable.
He said it will not only be security guards but also those who were in-sourced would join in solidarity.
“We will cripple the university should they do that,” he said.