Varsity workers on strike over benefits

WORKERS at the University of Venda in Thohoyandou are on strike in protest against the alleged change of their employment conditions without being consulted.

WORKERS at the University of Venda in Thohoyandou are on strike in protest against the alleged change of their employment conditions without being consulted.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) claims that the workers have been stripped of their benefits. The campus has been left without electricity and water and with malfunctioning telephone lines as a result of the strike.

Nehawu chairperson Calvin Muloiwa said the manner in which management had handled the change of employment conditions needed workers' input and "not just a change".

The strike, according to students, has affected both lessons and their lives as there has been neither food nor water on the campus since Friday.

Students are forced to relieve themselves in the bushes while others use residences off campus as an alternative.

SRC president Shakira Mashabela said the conditions were affecting the students badly and that they wanted management to compromise and attend to the grievances.

Professor Peter Mbati, vice-chancellor and principal of the university, said while the university recognised the right of trade unions to represent workers, it was the university's responsibility to implement and manage approved policies.

"Nehawu participated in the consultation process around these policy changes. At no given time were workers' conditions of service changed unilaterally without consulting all representative structures," Mbati said.

X