Interdict obtained against DHET – NEHAWU

Union says dept deducted members' salaries without following the outcomes of settlement agreement

NEHAWU obtains interdict against DHET

30 April 2019

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has obtained an interdict against the Department of Higher Education and Training [DHET] after the department deducted our members and workers’ salaries without following the outcomes of the settlement agreement signed between the union and the department.

Following the successful strike by NEHAWU members at TVET and CET, we signed a settlement agreement with the DHET.

The settlement agreement states as follows on the issue of return to work:

Return back to work process

Parties after robustly consulting on the matter, agree as follows:

- Staggered deductions of two (2) days per month

- Voluntary participation in the catch up programme

- Deduction should be subject to verification

Notwithstanding the above clause of the settlement agreement, the employer (DHET) proceeded to make deductions on the basis of the no work, no pay principle.

The Union wrote a letter of demand to DHET to desist from unlawful deductions, pending verification. However, the employer was adamant to proceed with the deductions without verification. This then necessitated NEHAWU to approach the Labour Court on an urgent basis.

By agreement between the parties, which was now made an Order of Court, the Labour Court ordered as follows:

1. The matter is removed from the roll;

2. The Respondent (DHET) is interdicted and restrained from any further deductions on the Applicant’s (NEHAWU) salaries from 16 May 2019;

3. The Respondents (DHET) will embark on a verification process as per the settlement agreement;

4. The Respondents can only commence with deductions after the verification process has been concluded and has issued each affected member with a letter confirming:

4.1 The number of days that member was on strike;

4.2 The number of days which will be deducted from the member;

4.3 The number of days which have already been deducted;

4.4 The amount to be deducted; and

4.5 The amount outstanding for deduction.

5. The Respondent (DHET) undertakes to reimburse those members whose salaries were incorrectly deducted.”

The national union will continue to monitor the implementation of the settlement agreement and ensure that our members benefit from it. Moreover, as NEHAWU, we are gearing for a big fight against college principals who have went out of their way to intimidate and victimise shop stewards who were leading the strike.

Issued by Khaya Xaba, Media Liaison Officer, NEHAWU, 30 April 2019