NEHAWU In Response To Misleading Statement By UNISA Management
Monday May 30, 2022
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] wishes to set the record straight in terms of the Labour Court outcome or judgement. On the 19th May 2022, the union filed an urgent application against the summary terminations of our branch office bearers at the University of South Africa (UNISA) without holding any hearing, which we contend are unlawful. The matter was finally heard in the Labour Court on the 26th May 2022, where UNISA raised two points in limine, one being lack of urgency and the second the lack of jurisdiction, after the court heard both parties, the matter was adjourned for about 40 minutes for the judge to prepare her ruling. After the adjournment the court found in favour of NEHAWU on urgency but also found in favour of UNISA on the jurisdictional point in that it determined that NEHAWU has alternative remedies and can approach the CCMA for their claim.
It is important to note that the actual merits or substance of the case were never argued and the matter was dismissed on a point in limine and the union has already referred the matter to CCMA accordingly as a platform to fully ventilate the actual merits of the unfair dismissals. Indeed, this is an opportunity to clearly show that the employer has violated the Labour Relations Act, as amended for basing the suspension and termination of our office bearers on a non-existent clause of the LRA.
Further noted that UNISA has been issuing a variety of statements through Internal Communications to staff members whereby they claim that the strike is illegal, in this regard, we wish to advise the employer to approach the Labour Court in order to set the strike certificate aside if UNISA is convinced that the strike certificate was issued irregularly.
The union remains committed to resolving the current impasse with UNISA Management as we would like to see normal operations resuming at all UNISA campuses. However, this cannot be done by undermining collective bargaining and the rights of employees whereby members are dismissed without a hearing and following Section 23 of the Constitution.
The union will meet with UNISA Management on Tuesday, the 31st May 2022 to continue with talks and hope for a speedy resolution.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org