Definitions | Preamble | Duration of the agreement | Recognition and co-operation | Victimisation | Representation | Shop stewards | Consultative meetings | Negotiations | Resolution of disputes | Industrial action | Access to facilities | Access to campus |
Access to information | Stop order facilities | General meetings | General | Variation | Domicilia

Recognition and procedural agreement between the University and the NEHAWU
(University of Cape Town hereafter referred to as "the University" and The National Education, Health and Allied Worker's union hereafter referred to as "the Union")

  1. Definitions

    In this agreement, the following words/phrases shall have the meanings described hereunder, unless a contrary meaning appears from the context:

    1. "Act" means the Labour Relations Act, no 66 of 1995, as amended from time to time.
    2. "University" means the University of Cape Town.
    3. "Union" means the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union.
    4. "Office-bearers" shall refer to the elected representatives of the Union.
    5. "Official" means a full time, paid employee of the Union.
    6. "Management representative" means a person nominated by the University to represent it in dealings with the Union.
    7. "Employee" means an employee of the University.
    8. "Sufficiently representative" means that at least 50% + 1 of the employees in each of the payclasses listed in Annexure A hereto are Union members.
    9. "Union member" means an employee who is a paid-up member of the Union in terms of its constitution.
    10. "Unit of representation" means those pay classes of employees that the Union represents, as determined in accordance with Annexure A.
    11. "Grievance" means any dissatisfaction or feeling of injustice in connection with an employee's work and employment situation, other than issues relating to conditions of service, remuneration, (and salary range) and (other arising from) disciplinary action, which is brought to the attention of management.
    12. "Industrial action" means any activity by Union members (as a result of grievances, disputes or disciplinary action) which disrupts the business of the University, including but not limited to strikes and lockouts as defined in the act.
    13. "Day", for the purposes of determining time periods in this agreement, means any day except Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory public holidays.
    14. "Shop stewards" means (the number of) Union members elected to the position of shop steward in accordance with the Union's constitution, and the provisions of this agreement.
  2. Preamble

    The University has entered into a recognition and procedural agreement with the National Education, Health and Allied Worker's union whereby the University recognises the union as the collective bargaining agent in those pay classes where it has a majority membership (majority 50% + 1).

    The parties wish to build their relationships on such values as mutual respect, openness, honesty and good faith in the integrity of each other.

  3. Duration of the agreement
    1. The agreement shall commence on the date of the last signature appearing hereon and, unless cancelled in terms of the provisions of this agreement, shall remain in force for an indefinite period.
    2. This agreement may be cancelled by either party, giving at least 30 days written notice of cancellation.
    3. Either party may terminate this agreement (upon one party) by giving written notice of termination to the defaulting party if the latter has committed a material breach of this agreement. Such termination shall take effect immediately upon service of such notice. Such termination shall not affect any (in addition to whatever) other remedies which may be available to the party at law. Without limiting the meaning of the phrase, the parties agree that failure by the union or its members to abide by the provisions of this agreement regarding participation in industrial action shall constitute a serious breach.
    4. This agreement shall lapse if the legal status of either or both parties change so as to deny the party or parties contractual capacity.
    5. If the number of members of the Union in any payclass in the agreed unit of representation falls below 50% + 1, the University shall give the Union 30 days notice in writing to rectify the situation, failing which the University shall immediately withdraw its recognition of the Union as collective bargaining representative in such payclass.
  4. Recognition and co-operation
    1. The University recognises the Union as the collective bargaining representative of all Union members in the Unit of representation where they have a majority of 50% + 1 in a pay class. It recognises the right of the Union, subject to the provisions of clause 6, to negotiate and conclude agreements on behalf of its members within the unit of representation with regard to remuneration and conditions of employment, to discuss issues of mutual interest as agreed by the parties from time to time, and to represent its members in matters relating to their employment.
    2. The Union acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that the co-operation between the University and Union members is maintained at a high level, and to encourage and promote their commitment to the University as an institution of higher learning and the resultant objective of disseminating knowledge.
    3. The Union acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that the provisions of all agreements between the Union and the University are understood by the Union members and officials, and the University acknowledges its responsibility to ensure that the provisions of all such agreements are understood and adhered to by management.
    4. The Union recognises that the University has, and shall continue to have, the right to conduct its normal managerial functions, including (but not limited to) recruitment, placement, remuneration, position grading, promotions, transfers, demotions, planning, disciplinary action and, where applicable, to the University's policies and the provisions of this agreement.
    5. The University and the Union agree that this agreement shall be legally binding upon them, and they commit themselves to fulfilling all their obligations contained herein.
    6. The Union undertakes to ensure that its members will at all times adhere to the provisions of this agreement as far as it relates to them.
  5. Victimisation
    1. The University shall not victimise or unlawfully interfere with the Union and its members, and Union shall not unlawfully interfere with the University and its employees.
    2. The University and the Union endorse the principle of freedom of association and, accordingly, shall not force employees to join the Union or hinder them from joining the Union or any other union.
    3. The Union shall ensure that its officials, shopstewards and members do not intimidate or unlawfully interfere with employees. Should officials act in such a manner, the University may refuse them access, while shop stewards and union members will be subject to disciplinary action.
  6. Representation
    1. For so long as the Union remains sufficiently representative of the employees in the agreed unit of representation, the University shall recognise it as the exclusive bargaining representative of Union members in the unit of representation, and will negotiate with it on matters referred to in clause 9.
    2. The University accepts that any Union member employed at the University may either be represented by a shop steward or any other University employee available if he/she so chooses, on any matter as provided by the University's grievance and disciplinary procedures.
    3. The University reserves the right to recognise any other union or other employee body, but shall not recognise another union or employee body for purposes of negotiating remuneration and conditions of service for employees in a particular payclass, while the Union remains sufficiently representative of the employees in that payclass.
  7. Shop stewards

    NEHAWU members are entitled to elect shop stewards in terms of the Union's constitution.

    1. A shop steward shall be an employee who is a union member elected according to the constitution of the union.
    2. The election of shop stewards shall be held in terms of the Union's constitution.
    3. The election of shop stewards shall be held as soon as possible after the signing of this agreement. It shall take place on a working day, at a time and on a date determined by the Union in consultation with the University. The Union may request up to 30 minutes working time for the purposes of elections. Such time may be granted once a year for each constituency. The Union shall inform the University in writing of the names of all elected shop stewards, and the names and positions of members of the shop steward's council.
    4. The University accepts that shop stewards shall have the right to make representations on behalf of their constituents in accordance with the terms of this, or any other written agreement between the parties.
    5. The Union and the University recognise the importance of trained and effective shop stewards. To this end, the University agrees to allow shop stewards time off on full pay to receive training as follows:

      1. One day for once-off basic training to familiarise shop stewards with the contents of this agreement, to be held within a month after the first election of shop stewards, and
      2. Shop stewards are permitted five working days special leave per annum (to a collective maximum of 110 days) for training purposes.
    6. Absence from work in terms of clauses 7e i) and 7e ii) shall be subject to the approval of the director of human resources, which approval shall take account of the operational needs of the department where each shop steward works. Every endeavour shall however be made by the University to accommodate such requests for absence from work.
    7. The Union shall give the University at least two weeks' written notice, setting out the names of shop stewards to participate in a training programme, and one week's written notice of the agenda or programme, setting out the broad content of such training programme.
    8. The University further agrees, subject to availability, to make available both facilities and members of the Human Resources Department (when possible and as requested by the Union) for training programmes contemplated by clause 7e above.
    9. Subject to 7j the University shall allow a reasonable amount of time off to shop stewards for tasks related to the ascertaining of grievances and representation of workers in terms of the University's grievance, disciplinary, and other written procedures.
    10. Where a shop steward is to represent a Union member during working hours (as provided for in sub-clause 7i), the shop steward must seek and obtain agreement from his/her supervisor.
    11. Any reasonable action taken by a shop steward, in good faith and in pursuance of his/her duties in the terms of this agreement shall not affect his/her employment with the University. The behaviour of shop stewards however remains subject to the disciplinary procedure of the University.
    12. Facilities as in clause 12 of this agreement shall be afforded to shop stewards to enable them to carry out their functions in terms of this agreement. Suitable arrangements shall be made, by agreement between the parties, to ensure that the duties of a shop steward who is absent due to illness or leave are taken over by someone else.
    13. The University shall allow up to two hours a month for shop stewards to meet, prior to the monthly consultative meetings in terms of clause 8d. Such meeting(s) must be arranged in consultation with the head of department concerned.
    14. The chairperson of the shop stewards council shall be allowed up to one working day per week to conduct general Union business. The day selected shall be determined in consultation with the head of department concerned. The chairperson may delegate this right to another shop steward, provided that adequate notice is given to the department concerned. Should the work-related needs of the University require it, the Union must re-schedule the day, unless it can show good cause why it cannot do so.
    15. Should the University wish to transfer a shop steward, it must first discuss such proposed transfer at a meeting called in terms of clause 8 of this agreement.
    16. A shop steward shall vacate his/her office under any one or more of the following circumstances:
      1. On his/her resignation as a shop steward.
      2. If he/she ceases to be an employee of the University.
      3. On the expiry of his/her term of office as a shop steward.
      4. If more than 50% of the Union members in his/her constituency vote for his/her removal.
      5. If he/she is promoted to the rank of supervisor.
    17. Number of shop stewards

      The Union is entitled to elect shop stewards according to the following formula:

      1. If there are more than 50 Union members in the workplace, two shop stewards for the first 50 members, plus a further one shop stewards for every additional 50 members up to a maximum of seven shop stewards
      2. If there are more than 300 Union members in the workplace, seven shop stewards for the first 300 members, plus one additional shop stewards for every 100 additional members up to a maximum of ten shop stewards
      3. If there are more than 600 Union members in the workplace, ten shop stewards for the first 600 members, plus one shop steward for every 200 members up to a maximum of 12 shop stewards
      4. The Union shall provide the University with the names of all the elected or newly elected shop stewards
      5. The Union shall provisionally allocate shop stewards to constituencies. A final allocation shall be made by agreement between the parties. In the event of the parties failing to agree, the provisions of clause 10 shall apply
  8. Consultative meetings
    1. Consultative meetings shall take place between not more than five members of the Shop stewards council and not more than five management representatives of the University. At least three shop stewards and two management representatives shall constitute a quorum.
    2. The purpose of consultative meetings shall be to discuss
      1. departmental problems.
      2. employee facility matters.
      3. issues of mutual interest as agreed by the parties from time to time.
    3. Substantive and procedural issues shall be negotiated in terms of clause 9 of this agreement.
    4. The consultative meetings referred to in clause 8a shall:
      1. Take place on the first Wednesday of each month, or on a day mutually agreed by each party, on the University premises during working hours,
      2. Be preceded by an exchange of agendas. The shop stewards council shall advise management representatives in writing, of any items they wish to have included on the agenda, at least eight days before a meeting. Management representatives shall furnish an agenda setting out the items and the venue and time of the meeting, at least five days before the meeting.
    5. A meeting will not be held if no agenda items have been exchanged between the parties.
    6. Emergency meetings between the shop stewards and management representatives may be convened, subject to mutual agreement, on not less than 24 hours notice, by the shop stewards committee or the University.
  9. Negotiations
    1. The Union may negotiate on behalf of members in the Unit of representation:
      1. Remuneration, conditions of employment, and other matters of mutual interest.
      2. The parties shall establish a negotiating committee which shall consist of not more than five Union delegates made up of a minimum of four shop stewards and not more than one official, and not more than five management representatives.
    2. Should deadlock be reached on any issue during the negotiations, the parties shall be given the opportunity to refer back to their principals, before continuing the negotiations.
    3. On final conclusion of negotiations in terms of clause 9a, the Union shall report back to Union members during their lunch break(s), which may be extended by half an hour provided that such extension has been agreed to in advance. Such request for extension shall be addressed to the Executive Director, Human Resources Department.
    4. The annual negotiations shall commence at a time acceptable to the University and the Union (within the first quarter of the year), during March each year. The Union and the University shall submit their demands to each other in writing at least two weeks prior to the commencement of negotiations.
    5. Any agreement arrived at by the negotiating committee shall be reduced to writing, signed by both the University and the Union, and be binding on the parties and the Union's members (in so far as it is applicable) for the period stipulated in the agreement. The period shall normally be not less than one year. The parties further agree that no dispute may be declared on any matter provided for in any substantive agreement for the duration of that agreement.
    6. In the event of the parties failing to reach agreement, either party shall be entitled to invoke the dispute procedure contained in clause 10 hereof.
  10. Resolution of disputes
    1. It is accepted by both parties that at any time misunderstandings and disagreements of a collective nature can arise between management and employees, which may lead to disputes and work stoppages. To this end, the parties enter into this dispute procedure in order that when such an event occurs the matter can be resolved as speedily as possible.
    2. The parties acknowledge that disputes may have a role in maintaining the balance in their relationship. It is however acknowledged that undue continuation of any dispute is not in the interest of either party, and that actual stoppages should be dealt with as soon as they occur.
    3. The Union recognises that maintenance of, or return to normal work activities and the rendering of a service is essential for the University, and in is the long-term interests of its members.
    4. The parties thus agree to use the following dispute procedure for any collective disagreement or stoppages of work.
    5. Step 1: declaration of dispute

      The aggrieved party shall notify the other party (the answering party) in writing of the dispute. Such notice shall set out the particulars of the issue in dispute and the proposed terms of settlement.

    6. Step 2: answering statement

      Within five days of receipt of the declaration of dispute, the answering party shall serve on the aggrieved party a written answering statement, in which it shall respond to the allegations in the declaration of dispute and set out its position in regard to the solution desired.

    7. Step 3: meeting of the parties

      A meeting of the parties shall be held within five days of receipt by the aggrieved party of the answering statement, and in any event within ten days of receipt of the declaration of dispute by the answering party.

      1. The University shall provide officials with the facilities referred to in this agreement to investigate the nature of the dispute.
      2. There must be at least two meetings between the parties in an effort to resolve the dispute. Either party shall be entitled to require that the meetings be held on two consecutive days.
    8. Step 4: mediation
      1. Should the dispute remain unresolved after the second meeting, either party may refer the dispute to the CCMA.
      2. The parties shall each contribute 50% of any fees charged by the CCMA.
    9. No industrial action shall take place unless:
      1. The procedure set out above has been followed
      2. The majority of Union members in good standing have voted by secret ballot in favour of such action. (The agreed balloting rules are contained in annexure B.)
    10. Nothing in this provision shall prevent either party from seeking urgent relief in terms of the provisions of the act or any other law.
  11. Industrial action
    1. The Union and the University reaffirm their fundamental belief in dialogue, discussion and negotiation as being the method of conducting employee relations.
    2. Accordingly, neither the University on the one hand, nor the Union, officials, or Union members on the other hand shall cause, sanction or participate in any industrial action directed against the other party, if the issue giving rise to the industrial action:
      1. is dealt with in this agreement or a substantive agreement during the period of such agreements.
      2. is being processed through the grievance procedure, the disputes procedure or any other procedure which has been mutually agreed to, and any prescribed statutory dispute resolution procedure.
      3. concerns a dispute which either party may refer for arbitration or to the labour court in terms of the provisions of the act.
      4. Concerns a majority of Union members have voted in favour of the industrial action.
      5. Continues despite the procedures provided for in clause 10 have been exhausted.
    3. The University undertakes, that in the event of industrial action that is not in contravention of the provisions of this agreement, it will not dismiss employees merely for peacefully participating in such industrial action. In the event of such industrial action, the Union undertakes to make sure that the guidelines on picketing (annexure C) are strictly adhered to by the participants.
    4. Employees engaging in "unprotected" industrial action will not have the protection of this clause. In such instances the University shall take whatever action is permissible in law and which it deems to be appropriate under the circumstances, which may include dismissal.
    5. The principle of "no work, no pay" shall apply to all employees who participate in industrial action.
    6. Nothing in this agreement shall prevent either party from engaging in a strike or lockout without having to comply with the procedures provided for in the preceding clause if the other party has engaged in industrial action in breach of those procedures.
  12. Access to facilities
    1. The University shall, subject to availability, provide the Union with reasonable access to the following facilities:
      1. Use of venues (lecture theatres, halls, mess-rooms and seminar rooms) for Union meetings. Where non-union employees object to the use of a shared mess-room, the Union undertakes not to use such mess-room.
      2. Use of printing facilities on campus, subject to the discretion of the UDMS management and whatever legal restrictions may have to be observed by the University printing works.
      3. Use of the internal post-delivery system.
      4. Use of audio-visual equipment, through the classroom facilities unit, subject to its rules.
      5. Use of departmental notice-boards, subject to the availability of space. This is to be determined in consultation with heads of departments.
      6. Use of a furnished office containing a telephone and a computer with e-mail facility.
    2. In the event of a charge being levied for any of the above-mentioned facilities, it shall not exceed the rate that would normally be charged for all University-based organisations.
  13. Access to campus
    1. The Union recognises the right of the University to the labour power of its employees, and the need to prevent activities which may interfere with its business. The University recognises the importance of regular consultation between officials, shop stewards and Union members.
    2. The University agrees to grant officials access to the University campuses in order to meet Union members for the specific purpose of conducting normal Union activities. Access for officials to work areas will be confined to tea breaks, lunch hours, and times outside of normal working hours. The permission of the relevant head of department must be obtained prior to such access.
    3. Should the manner in which access is exercised, interfere with the University's operations and productivity, the University may approach the Union with a request that it rectifies the problem within a reasonable period. Should such activities and effect persist thereafter, the University may, by written notice to the Union, vary or withdraw the access granted in terms of this clause, with immediate effect. The Union shall be entitled to appeal against any such decision.
  14. Access to information
    1. The University shall provide reasonable access to any relevant information which the Union requires in order to exercise its rights in terms of this agreement. This includes in particular:
      1. Information regarding conditions of employment of Union members within the unit of representation, including details on salary scales and pay classes, grading categories, position descriptions, provisions of the medical aid schemes and GLA, etc.
      2. A list of employees in the unit of representation, including their names and location of work.
      3. Access to the University's budget, as far as such information is relevant for the purposes of wage negotiations.
    2. The Union undertakes to use information disclosed in a responsible manner. The Union further undertakes to provide such information as may be requested by the University, as far as such information is relevant for the purpose of negotiations.
    3. The Union undertakes to treat as confidential all information supplied in confidence. The University may withdraw the Union's rights in terms of this clause if the Union fails to comply with this provision.
  15. Stop order facilities
    1. The University agrees to deduct Union subscriptions from the salaries of Union members who have submitted properly completed and signed stop orders. Such deductions will be made at the end of each month. The Union agrees to submit properly signed stop order forms to the University for each and every paid-up member.
    2. The University shall remit to the Union the total amount of such deductions and furnish it with a list of the names of employees from whom deductions have been made. This shall occur no later than the tenth day of the calendar month following the month for which such deductions were made.
    3. The Union shall inform the University in writing and by registered post four weeks in advance of any change in the amount of Union subscriptions. Changes in the amount of subscriptions shall be effected strictly in terms of the procedure set out in the Union's constitution.
    4. The University shall not be responsible for the collection of the subscriptions of members who fall into arrears.
    5. A Union member may cancel his/her stop order by giving the University two weeks' written notice of cancellation.
  16. General meetings
    1. The University and the Union recognise the importance of a well-informed workforce that is able to participate fully in decisions related to the work situation. To this end, the University agrees to give time off for general members' meetings, and for shop stewards as provided for in clauses 7 and 8.
    2. The University shall give Union members one hour time off each year, to start an hour before the lunch break (i.e. 11:30), for the purposes of an annual general meeting.
  17. General
    1. Officials (and/or office-bearers for the Union) shall, at the request of shop stewards, be entitled to attend any meeting called in terms of this agreement.
    2. No relaxation or indulgence which any party may grant to the other party shall constitute a waiver by the former of any of its rights under this agreement or any substantive agreement.
    3. Where the University's consent and agreement is required in terms of this agreement, it shall not be unreasonably withheld.
    4. Normal ordinary wages (excluding overtime payments) shall be paid to Union members who attend meetings with the University during their working hours or who attend Union meetings, provided that they comply with the provisions of this agreement.
    5. The Union shall inform its members and any other employee representative body of the broad terms of this Agreement.
    6. The University and the Union shall observe the grievance and disciplinary procedures as set out on the Human Resources Department web site. This is applicable to the poor performance procedure being hereto annexure F. The parties agree to negotiate a retrenchment procedure separately, but in the first quarter of 2001, which shall be be annexure G hereto.
    7. Minutes of meetings held in terms of clauses 8, 9, and 10 shall be recorded by a representative of the University, and copies thereof sent to the Union within seven days of such meetings or as soon thereafter as practically possible.
    8. The provisions of this agreement shall be deemed to be incorporated in the contents of employment of Union members in the agreed unit of representation in so far as it is applicable to them.
  18. Variation
    1. Subject to the provisions of clause 9 of this agreement, either party to this agreement shall be entitled at any time to propose an amendment to this agreement, on furnishing three months' notice (in writing) of the proposed amendment to the other party. The proposal shall be discussed within 30 days of the expiry of the notice period.
    2. No variation of this agreement shall be of any force or effect unless the same shall have been reduced to writing and signed by both parties.
  19. Domicilia
    1. The University of Cape Town
      Bremner Building
      Cape Town
    2. National Education, Health And Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU-UCT)
      Upper Campus
      Private Bag

Page last updated: 6 March 2015