DUT SUSPENDS ACADEMIC LECTURES INDEFINITELY
Written by: Sphelele Nzuza and Phakeme Mnguni
Academic lectures have been suspended at the Durban University of Technology following a protracted staff strike that has been going on for over a full month.
The strike is in its fifth week. Workers, including academics, have been refusing to accept revised offers from the university management.
“We have interest for students but we will never sacrifice our demands. The cost of living is too high. If the management can give us what we want now, the next day we are in class,” says Mogale Maeko, a lecturer at the university’s School of Education.
The management’s last offer to the staff is 6.5% increase on both salary and housing allowance and it said there would be no further negotiations. This clashed with the staff’s demand of 8% on both salary and housing allowance. They also demanded their 14th cheque payment which they have been traditionally receiving over a number of years, before Professor Thandwa Mthembu, the current principal, took over the running of the university.
According to the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Professor Nomthandazo Gwele, the decision was made following the ongoing strike that has affected a large number of academic programmes this week.
“DUT wishes to confirm that despite the suspension of lectures, the university remains open. Student registration will still continue,” she says.
Prof Gwele claims that the university has managed to register about 21 000 students, despite the ongoing strike.
The university will revise the already-planned academic calendar.
*Caption: Deputy Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Professor Nomthandazo Gwele.