ASAWU is still in the midst of salary negotiations. We have a dedicated team that has been focusing on crafting a multi-year agreement since mid-March with management. Negotiations to date have been based on goodwill and conducted in good faith but they are proceeding slowly. We understand that some may be anxious to know the outcome of these discussions and we are committed to communicating this once all avenues have been exhausted and the best deal possible been constructed.
In the interim, we have become aware of a rumour moving around that the proposed increase in student numbers is due to the need for better salaries. Some staff members seems to assume that ASAWU is behind this move. We assure our members that this is a ridiculous and unfounded assumption. In negotiations ASAWU has been steadfast in arguing that in order to achieve the necessary salary increases to ensure competitiveness and move towards being the best paid institution that we need to reprioritise aspects of the University budget: for example, the issue of management bonuses. At no point has ASAWU supported or mooted the idea of increasing student numbers. Decisions to address budget shortfalls or matters pertaining to enrolment are taken by the VC and SET, in which ASAWU has no role or part.
We look forward to seeing members at the AGM tonight, where we will be happy to elaborate or respond to any questions.