Salaries 2016

Colleagues,

Members of the ASAWU Executive met with Management on Friday to discuss the three year salary agreement.  This meeting constituted the agreed annual opportunity for ASAWU and Management to reflect on the inflationary environment, Wits’ salary position in relation to other higher education institutions, and unique situations such as the impact of the 0% fee increase decision.  We are pleased to confirm that after this discussion it was agreed that there was no need to change any aspect of the three year salary agreement at this stage.  As such, the increases agreed to last year will take effect in January 2016.  See below to confirm what the adjustment will look like for the majority of staff. Continue reading “Salaries 2016”

Statement concerning ASAWU’s role in the recent protests

Dear Colleagues,

The past couple of weeks have been extremely stressful and challenging for all members of the university and we welcome the resolutions taken between students, workers, and management.  Indeed, these are historic and positive steps forward and we should all recognise the achievements of this moment. Despite passionate and often conflicting positions and opinions on the entirely student-led protest action, the extraordinary events of the past days have opened up multiple spaces for constructive dialogue and illustrate that academics have an important role to play in the way the university is shaped in the future. Continue reading “Statement concerning ASAWU’s role in the recent protests”

Statement on Student Protest

Dear Colleagues,

The events of last week resulted in a major shift in government policy towards support for higher education.  The ASAWU Executive congratulates our students on the incredible achievement of 0% tuition fee increases for 2016. Now is the perfect time for the university community to come together and work collectively on a strategy that emphasises continued affordable education and improvements in staff working conditions going forward.

The ASAWU Executive recognises the continued concerns of all stakeholders and sees that there is an opportunity to build on successes already achieved.

Continue reading “Statement on Student Protest”

Statement on Student Protest

Dear Colleagues,

The events of last week resulted in a major shift in government policy towards support for higher education.  The ASAWU Executive congratulates our students on the incredible achievement of 0% tuition fee increases for 2016. Now is the perfect time for the university community to come together and work collectively on a strategy that emphasises continued affordable education and improvements in staff working conditions going forward.

The ASAWU Executive recognises the continued concerns of all stakeholders and sees that there is an opportunity to build on successes already achieved. Continue reading “Statement on Student Protest”

ASAWU Report on The Second Higher Education Transformation Summit: Day 1 15th October 2015

The Second Higher Education Transformation Summit: Durban’s ICC

Day One: 15th October 2015

Durban: an unseasonably grey and chilly spring day.

Higher education ‘stakeholders’ from all over the country have woken up at ungodly hours to make it to the International Convention Centre on time for the 9am start for the second ever Transformation  in Higher Education in South Africa conference. For Wits staff and students wondering where their VC was, at a time of major turmoil on campus over fee increases, we can confirm that he was indeed spotted at the ICC, in the flesh, often on the phone. (More about how the Wits protests entered the day’s conversation, later).

VCs, Council members, Senators, students’ representatives and others from across South Africa had gathered to convene with government Higher Education representatives. The topic: transformation. Before the opening plenary began – fashionably late of course – small groups of powerful university men huddled between the rows of conference desks set up in – what else? – schoolroom style rows, to swap stories. (Later on, you’ll see those same ‘big men’ comically huddled over impossibly small cocktail plates at the canapé luncheon.) Continue reading “ASAWU Report on The Second Higher Education Transformation Summit: Day 1 15th October 2015”

Performance Management

Colleagues,

It has come to our attention that some Schools are seeking to implement performance management systems for their academic staff.  As we have communicated in the past, in the absence of a mutually agreed to system, academic staff may reserve the right not to participate in any efforts adopted to develop performance metrics around publications, teaching and service beyond those that already exist in staffing and promotions policies.  Further, should members of academic staff feel bullied or prejudiced as a result of non-participation in a proposed performance management system than a formal complaint can be laid against those responsible for perpetrating the bullying or engaging in prejudicial behaviour.  Continue reading “Performance Management”

Student Bursary Proposal

Dear Colleagues,

At the 2014 AGM the Executive received a mandate from the membership to explore the design and establishment of a bursary to support students in need. As the events of early 2015 reinforced, financial support for students is an ongoing issue affecting accessibility to Higher Education in South Africa.  As those deeply committed to the academic project, we know the impact of a University degree on the transformation of individuals and society more broadly.

In this vein, the ASAWU Executive has considered this issue and would like to propose the establishment of the Wits Academic Staff Student Bursary.  The funds will go to students who demonstrate financial need in covering academic fees.   The plan is to create an endowment over the next 5 years through monthly contributions from Wits Academics that will be donated to the University. ASAWU will not be involved in the administration of the fund, rather Wits Student Financial Aid structures will administer. Continue reading “Student Bursary Proposal”

SRC 1 Million 1 Month campaign

Dear Colleagues,

In response to the SRC’s call, ASAWU has donated R20,000 to the 1 Million 1 Month campaign to help plug the gap left by the 2015 NSFAS shortfall. This amount will allow us to remain committed to more long-term student support such as appointing and training a postgraduate intern and establishing a student bursary as discussed at this year’s AGM. The donation is in keeping with our strong support for students and the SRC. These initiatives in no way compromise the resources we have available for academic and individual member issues.

We are aware that a more sustainable solution is needed to this crisis; however the money raised through this campaign will allow students who are already registered and progressing to complete their degrees. We urge all members who have not done so individually to consider contributing what they can. Continue reading “SRC 1 Million 1 Month campaign”