JOHANNESBURG – The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) organised a strike on Tuesday and later continued on Wednesday over higher wages and absorption of workers contract.
Dozens of students awaiting their 2018 academic year grants are furious, as more than 200 workers at the National Student Financial Aid (NSFAS) downed tools.
Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba said all the NSFAS services have been shut down as they are currently organising 280 workers including those who are not unionised to join the strike.
The workers’ demands include higher wages, absorption of contract workers to be permanent, implementation of agency fee to non-unionised workers and subsidised medical aid for parents of NSFAS employees.
Xaba revealed that, they have not met with the management to discuss their demands, as they have been beating around the bush in aims of trying to avoid them.
“This strike has a potential to disrupt the application and allocation of grants thus affecting greatly the higher education sector including TVET colleges,” Xaba said.
In a statement, NSFAS CEO Steven Zwane said the management was working with Nehawu to address their demands.
“We assure that we are working with Nehawu and the NSFAS Board to address the issues speedily to ensure that colleagues are back at work, serving the South African public in the implementation of the new fee-free education policy,” he said.
“We remain committed to the initial agreement with the union to meet on 22 February 2018 to further discuss the outstanding items in order to solicit their commitment before submission can be made to the Board for consideration,” he added.