Nehawu threatens to strike after wage negotiations with Nsfas fail

Nehawu said the decision to stage protests comes after the scheme refused to increase workers’ salaries citing the impact of COVID-19.

Nehawu members protest for better working conditions on 26 August 2020. Picture: Nehawu AD/Facebook

DURBAN – The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) says it is preparing for a strike at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) offices next week after wage negotiations deadlocked.

Nsfas is a government-funded support programme for marginalised tertiary students.

Nehawu said the decision to stage protests comes after the scheme refused to increase workers’ salaries citing the impact of COVID-19.

Negotiations between Nehawu and Nsfas started in June and deadlocked in August.
The union initially argued for a 13% increase but later reduced this to 8%.

However, Nehawu said Nsfas insisted on a 0% salary increment for workers – a claim the scheme has denied.

Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba said: “We cannot find common ground with the employer, and the CCMA has given us a strike of non-resolution, which means that we can start getting members and prepare for a strike. So, that’s what we are doing now.”

He said Nsfas cannot use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse not to increase workers’ salaries because it received its budget allocation from government before the start of the national lockdown.

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