DOCUMENTS

Exams pass without incident despite efforts at disruption - UCT

University says that Senate meeting had to be disbanded after protesters intruded and refused to leave

THREE STATEMENTS:

Campus Announcement: Update on Exams and Campus activities

Released: Monday, 9 November 2015

9 November 2015

Dear colleagues and students 

Following the update the Vice-Chancellor sent yesterday, I write to let you know that campus activities are proceeding as scheduled today at the University of Cape Town. A small number of students attempted this morning to barricade certain entrances and exits to the campus, but we removed these using the University’s usual campus protection officers. This morning’s exams have proceeded without incident. The students who had been meeting and remaining in the Bremner building vacated it when instructed to do so. 

The Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors are engaged in several meetings with faculties and other stakeholders today. We have teams in place who are continuing to work on all plans necessary to ensure that exams proceed uninterrupted. 

It is apparent that those students or workers who continue to threaten or attempt to disrupt university activities are mobilising or making statements about the insourcing issue that are untrue. We will continue to put out the correct information, but the key facts on insourcing are worth restating. They are: 

1. We have concluded a binding agreement with recognised trade union NEHAWU, the effect of which is that all outsourced workers who are dedicated to serving the University in the key identified outsourcing services will be insourced.

2. That agreement recognises that transitional arrangements and timeframes are necessary and these will be the subject of ongoing engagement with recognised worker structures.

3. There is no risk to job security caused by the decision to insource. On the contrary, insourcing has been a long-standing demand of workers precisely because of the improved job security that it offers.

4. Some of the details around insourcing, including wage levels and other conditions, have not been finalised and will only be resolved through proper processes internal to the University and involving engagement with worker representatives in the usual way. Workers cannot be worse off after insourcing and in all probability will be substantially better off in all respects following insourcing.

Statements suggesting the contrary, or suggesting that there is uncertainty about these matters, are simply untrue. We have clarified questions raised as far as we reasonably can, but have noticed that there continue to be untruths or misrepresentations placed on social media in particular. 

It may be that we will continue to experience some form of protest action over the next few days, but we have the necessary plans in place to deal with this. We are optimistic that students and workers will recommit themselves to the University’s academic activities and programme until the end of the year. 

We urge you to visit the UCT homepage for the most accurate and updated information. You will find a recent statement from the Vice-Chancellor, the Chair of Council and the six most important things about exams here. Please feel free to use any official statements on the homepage to answer questions you may face or disseminate to your stakeholders. 

Sincerely 

Gerda Kruger

Executive Director

Communication and Marketing Department

***

Statement by the University Council

Released: 09h50, 9 November 2015

8 November 2015

Statement by the University Council

Rumours are circulating at UCT that as soon as exams are finished, outsourced workers will be victimised, dismissed and negatively treated in other ways. This is not true.

The UCT Council wants to state clearly that:

  • UCT has decided to insource the six outsourced services currently managed by C3, G4S, Metro, Sibanye, Supercare, and Turfworks.
  • There will be no retrenchments between now and the date of insourcing, and all workers who are employed by these companies at UCT will be offered jobs by UCT when the services are insourced.
  • All workers who become employees of UCT will be entitled to standard UCT benefits, such as medical aid, provident fund and fee rates according to standard UCT rules.
  • All jobs will be graded according to the UCT grading system and paid according to the standard UCT payscales.

UCT management has already given the following deadlines for insourcing:

  • G4S: 30 June 2016
  • Turfworks: 31 August 2016
  • Sibanye: 31 December 2016 (but depends on bus procurement and agreement with taxi association)
  • Supercare: 30 June 2017
  • Metro: 31 December 2016
  • C3: 2019

The timetable shows the latest date at which each of the services will be insourced. The timetable is based on the timing of the contracts that UCT has with each of the companies.

Some of the other details of the insourcing must still be worked out. This must be done in a way that ensures that the insourcing happens smoothly, in a way that benefits workers and also ensures that services are delivered to the University community. The other details will be worked out together with the workers so that the process can happen smoothly and the rights of workers are protected.

Archbishop NWH Ndungane

Chair of the Council

***

UCT Senate meeting disbands after disruption

Released: 18h00, 9 November 2015

9 November 2015

A Senate meeting at the University of Cape Town was disbanded today after about 150 individuals who were not members of Senate entered the meeting and disrupted the proceedings.

UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price opened the meeting by asking Senate members for agreement on a position to take if the meeting were disrupted. He advised the Senate that members of the Campus Protection Services were focusing on the security of students who were studying on campus or in the process of taking exams, and additional security was not available for the Senate meeting. The consensus among Senate members was to disband the meeting if it were disrupted.

Halfway through Dr Price's briefing on developments around negotiations with NEHAWU and other university groups, the meeting was disrupted and Dr Price was surrounded by protesters. When the protesters refused to leave, the meeting was disbanded.

It is worrying that these protesters seem to have no interest in discussion or any form of debate or negotiation. They do not allow for any conversation, but seem to be simply interested in disruption. This is deeply regrettable.

Statements issued by UCT, 9 November 2015