Universiteit Stellenbosch
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Outeur: Korporatiewe Bemarking / Corporate Marketing
Gepubliseer: 11/03/2016

*Afrikaanse berig sal binnekort beskikbaar wees​​

Despite the latest wave of protest action in which dismissed workers of external service providers are allegedly playing a key role, Stellenbosch University (SU) remains committed to viable sourcing as an alternative to insourcing, and the implementation of the agreement reached with workers of external service providers at the end of November 2015.

Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, has also expressed his concern about the fact that there are apparently forces at work who, perhaps with selfish motives, are trying to derail the work of the task team – blatantly ignoring the fact that almost 800 workers of external service providers will benefit in a meaningful financial manner from the implementation of the agreement. "This is why the University remains steadfast in its commitment to the full implementation of the agreement. We shall not be deterred by actions that do not have the best interest of these workers at heart. I reiterate: human dignity is non-negotiable," he said.

In earlier statements Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor has emphasised the University's position on demands for the insourcing of external service workers: ''The fundamental issue to us is one of human dignity. We regard this as non-negotiable and we also expect our external service providers to adhere to this value. We do not wish to be associated with or enter into agreements with any external service provider that does not have regard for the human dignity and well-being of its workers." Therefore the University is supporting its various current external service providers to, where necessary ensure that all their workers rendering services on Stellenbosch campuses are treated in a humane manner."

Last year he made a formal appeal to external service providers for leniency towards workers who did not participate in criminal acts during the protest action. Although Stellenbosch University cannot get involved in external service providers' internal disciplinary processes, or demand the re-employment of dismissed workers, it acts in support of workers to outline the context of the protest actions and ask for leniency. "We are concerned about the hardships of the dismissed workers and we are doing all within our power to bring their cases, some on appeal and others at the CCMA, to a speedy conclusion." In this regard the University also plays an active role to explore alternative avenues, and has offered to facilitate meetings between the workers and their respective employers - with the aim to, as far as possible, facilitate an amicable outcome between the two parties.

Since Stellenbosch University reached an agreement with workers of external service providers and students at the end of 2015, it has been working systematically to implement the commitments made in terms of the agreement. Stellenbosch University has:

  • placed an immediate moratorium on all new forms of outsourcing;
  • made a once-off payment of R2 000 to all the workers of external service providers designated to SU campuses and who were affected by the protest action. This process was completed at the end of December 2015;
  • pledged a subsidy of the cost to company of the ring-fenced external workers on our campuses who currently earn (cost to company) less than R5 000 per month, as from March 2016. The subsidy will ensure parity with the salary of R5 000 per month at the minimum entry level cost to company of a University employee;
  • established an independent helpline where these workers can lodge any complaints, which SU will then take up directly with their respective employers;
  • appointed an external facilitator to assist the Wellness Office to conduct interviews with former University employees who were outsourced since 1994 and who are currently employed by external service providers to the University. The objective is to give workers the opportunity to share the impact that outsourcing has had on their lives and how they were potentially disadvantaged as a result. At the same time the University has also developed and shared two potential scenarios with affected workers and afforded them the opportunity to indicate their preference for a possible restitution model to be employed. The model is now been finalized for implementation
  • introduced a process of the evaluation of 'viable sourcing', that will be followed to determine the best course of action when the contract terms of current external service providers come to an end – at that point all the viable options will be considered in taking final decisions on how the service in question will in future be provided to the University. The proposed model has also been communicated to the task team for their feedback ​