UCT Employees Union to go on strike on Thursday

The union said negotiations with university has failed

By Liezl Human

7 February 2024

UCT’s professional, administrative and support service staff are set to go on strike on Thursday until next week Friday. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

The University of Cape Town Employees Union (UCTEU) is planning to strike on Thursday after failed negotiations with the university management.

In the strike notice issued on Tuesday, the union’s executive committee said that it has “exhausted all avenues of a non-strike resolution to our dispute and demands” and was left with no option but to go to the CCMA to put pressure on the university to have “meaningful negotiations” and to meet its demands. The union said the strike will last until 16 February unless an agreement with UCT is reached.

Union president Andrea Plos said that issues with university management “are historic and have been a point of contention for years” which has “seen [the union] in and out of CCMA”.

The UCTEU is the largest union representing professional, administrative and support service (PASS) employees across most pay classes at the university, with about 1,400 members.

GroundUp reported last year that wage negotiations continued between the university and the union after the CCMA found that UCT failed to bargain with the union and recommended that both parties return to negotiations.

Plos said that the union has not even begun negotiations for 2024.

The demands for the strike action tomorrow include a wage increase of 1.5% for 2023 and 7.5% for 2024, the immediate release of payments of the performance awards for June 2022 to May 2023 cycle, and the establishment of a unified bargaining forum, among other things.

“We are not blind to the fact that executive leadership of universities are mainly academics and as such, academics will continue to have privileges over PASS staff,” said Plos.

UCT’s response was still awaited at the time of publication.