Hundreds of disgruntled NMMU staff members staged a peaceful march yesterday to highlight their dissatisfaction with their working conditions.
About 350 National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members marched from the north campus to the south campus, where they handed over a list of demands to acting vice-chancellor Dr Sibongile Muthwa.
The march follows last year’s special council sitting where NMMU declared that all outsourced services like catering, gardening, security and cleaning would be insourced.
Nehawu demanded its list of grievances be addressed within five working days.
Included in the 17-point memorandum were issues including pay increases with back pay included, overtime payment, dignified working conditions for all, fair leave structures including maternity leave, the eradication of systemic racism, and staff development.
Nehawu deputy chairman Sandile Mpepo, who led the march, said NMMU had promised workers insourcing would start at the beginning of July.
“NMMU management has insourced workers without conditions of service and using the same sectorial determination used in the private sector that oppresses these workers. “The university is conducting an illegal and unfair process which causes discrimination between employees,” he said.
Muthwa thanked the marchers for the disciplined manner in which they conducted the protest.
“None of the issues . . . have not been raised before,” she said. “We welcome the memorandum and will respond to every point that was raised.”