Monday, 8 February 2016

Memorandum of Demands of landscaping, cleaning and other outsourced workers from UWC

Memorandum of Demands

08 FEBRUARY 2016

TO: Vice-chancellor and Rector;
CC: UWC Management; UWC Council

Dear Prof. Pretorius
We, the landscaping, cleaning, and other outsourced workers from the University
of the Western Cape resolved to remind you of our demands as follows:

1) We demand an immediate end to the outsourcing of jobs in all the above -
mentioned categories of employment. This demand should lead to the
termination of all contracts with service providers with immediate effect, so that
UWC directly employs all the outsourced workers on a permanent or full-time

2) We demand an immediate implementation of the minimum wage of R10
000 across the board. Our wages have remained stagnant, if not falling in the
past 15 years of outsourcing. Our families are starving, whilst the
principals/rectors and other university authorities, and ‘tenderpreneurs’
(contracted by UWC) gain from our hard work, and have become alarmingly
wealthy as a result, yet our lives remain the same.

The university allowance of R2000 is insufficient, even if it is combined with a
monthly wage of R2700, for a decent living, especially for the workers with the
greatest number of beneficiaries. Furthermore, the UWC allowance (R2000)
discriminates against casual workers who don’t receive this R2000 monthly

3) Moratorium on retrenchments of all workers employed in contracts and/or
immediate reinstatement of all the workers recently retrenched through
termination of contracts with service providers.
We therefore declare that nothing about us without us shall henceforth be valid
and morally binding on us. In pursuit of this declaration, we resolved to constitute
ourselves into #EndOutsourcing & #UWCFeesWillFall campaign, with elected
and accountable representatives from each and every company that provide
services for UWC through which we shall negotiate and without which no
agreement binding shall be concluded.

We also convey our unwavering support to all the demands of the #FeesMustFall
Movement for free, quality education and decent learning conditions in all the
institutions and pledge solidarity for all their future actions in pursuit of these and
other legitimate demands for people’s education.

We appeal for solidarity and active support from all the students, administrative
and academic staff of the university to our demands, struggle and any action we
may be forced to take in pursuit of the above demands.

Please kindly note that should you fail to comply with our demands, consider
yourself duly notified of our intention to strike with effect from the 10TH February
2016 and campaign to appeal for public support to our struggle for decent jobs
and wages.

Kindly note that should UWC Management/or UWC Council wish to meet with us,
kindly advise us of such intensions in writing by no later than Wednesday, 10th

February 2016.
Best wishes

#ENDoutsourcing Campaign 

[signatures edited]

SIGNATURE:…………………………………….. DATE: 08 FEBRUARY 2016

1 comment:

  1. From the UWC Fees Will Fall page:

    The response from UWC management regarding the end of outsourcing was disappointing and reads as follows:

    1. "True to our mission, the University remains sensitive to the plight of the marginalized and to provide affordable access to poor students, while we are also cognizant of the challenges workers face. To balance this dual tension will require serious investigation. The Council of the University has formed a task team who will be engaging stakeholders involved in outsourcing/insourcing at the University".

    2. "We have made a commitment to augment the existing salaries of certain workers by R2000.00 per month and at the moment this is as much as we can contribute. This amounts to an increase of over 70% per designated worker and is a demonstration of our good faith. In addition the study rebate received by University employees has been granted to these employees as well. This includes the workers of Pegasus Consulting Sevices who only commenced their contractual services at the University in October 2015. As you are certainly aware, there has been no fee increment at Universities in 2016 and all expenses of the University must be evaluated within the context of sustainability".

    Let us analyse the above 2 points in turn. Regarding the first point, UWC management is simply repeating its earlier stance (i.e. the November 2015 stance) that it will conduct a feasibility study to determine the feasibility of in-sourcing. We know very well that such a decision (to conduct a feasibility study) was already made in November 2015, and was overturned by UWC Council later in the same month - UWC Council simply said "the University supports insourcing in principle and considered it unaffordable".

    So, today's argument that insourcing requires a feasibility study does not hold water, because UWC Council declared that it is not willing to insource in Nov 2015. The University should take a decision to insource, and not duck and dive around the issue.

    Regarding the second point, the University is saying that it has contributed a R2000 monthly allowance to cleaning staff, and security guards, but says NOTHING about the fact that such an allowance does not accrue to CASUAL WORKERS , who have been working at UWC for up to 3 years. Again the University appears to be DUCKING AND DIVING, and not committed to the end of outsourcing. Furthermore, UWC boasts about study rebates for the children of cleaning staff, yet there is no designated personnel or office to make sure that the children of cleaning and security staff have access to study for free at UWC!

    NOW let us consider some of the political dynamics that will help us come to terms about the REAL POLITICAL REASONS behind the University’s apathy towards in-sourcing: there are solid rumours that some UWC personnel, in the upper echelons of UWC are benefiting from the tender system used to contract outsourced companies.

    It is alleged that some of the owners of the companies have "undeclared relationships" (conflict of interest) with some UWC personnel in the upper echelons of UWC; and our sources tell us that such personnel are not willing to give up their fortunes just like that and make way for insourcing. Of course, these are only rumours, but they do shed light into the political dynamics at play in the upper echelons of UWC, and perhaps can go a long way into the conduction of an objective audit of UWC finances, and thorough investigation of the University finance team to determine if these rumors hold water or not.