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Clarity on “top up allowance” that applies to workers of service providers

- Wits University

Senior Executive Team statement on Insourcing Task Team (ITT).

It has come to our attention that some members of the Wits community are deliberately inciting the workers of service providers on our campuses to protest, despite the issue of insourcing being prioritised by the Insourcing Task Team (ITT).

There are also allegations that members of the ITT are involved in protest action on our campuses. This is contrary to the agreement signed between management, workers and students, and the matter is being raised with the chairperson of the ITT, Advocate Dali Mpofu.

We request all members of the University community to immediately desist from interfering in these processes as it jeopardises the progress made by the Insourcing Task Team and management.

'Top-up' allowance

As outlined previously, the University agreed to pay a ‘top-up’ of the basic monthly salary to the workers of service providers whose gross salary is below R4500. The allowance is paid in the form of a Client Allowance to service providers who then pass this payment on to their employees. The allowance is the difference between the workers total remuneration before statutory deductions and the amount of R4500. The minimum total remuneration before statutory deductions for workers who qualify will thus be R4500 per month for full-time employees of service providers and a proportional amount for those full-time employees whose hours of work are less than then normal full-time hours. 

Any special allowances, bonuses and other benefits do not form part of the calculation of the basic monthly salary. Workers on paid leave still benefit from this ‘top-up’, for example, maternity leave.

The following workers in the employ of service providers qualify for the allowance: Security (Fidelity Security Services, Quemic, Urban Genesis); Grounds (Servest (Pty) Ltd), Cleaning (Ukweza Cleaning, Impact Cleaning); Dining hall catering (Royal Mnandi, Ukweza Catering); Waste Management (Oricol) and the Intercampus Bus Service (Phola Coaches). The allowance does not apply to workers that work for retail and service enterprises that operate on the university campus who are in an arms-length commercial relationship with the University. 

This dispensation is effective from 1 January 2016 and applies to workers in the employ of the service providers on that day. 

This agreement was approved by the Insourcing Task Team which includes all stakeholder representatives including management, students and workers.

Given the complexity of the issues there will inevitably be queries, misunderstandings and disputes about which workers qualify and which do not. Management is committed to resolving these in a systematic manner. A mechanism has been set up to resolve any disputes through the ITT. The underwriter to the agreement and the arbiter of the agreement if required, is Advocate Mojanku Gumbi.

Payment

Notwithstanding the short time period involved, the University has paid the allowances for the month of January.

Current contracts

All current contracts with service providers remain in effect. 

Conclusion

Wits’ management is working with the Insourcing Task Team on a sustainable model for insourcing. We cannot afford to jeopardise this process and in terms of our agreement, we will hold people accountable if they continue to incite disruption on our campuses.

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