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Insourcing Task Team feedback

- Wits University

Update from the Senior Executive Team regarding insourcing:

The Insourcing Task Team (ITT) was established to carefully consider how best the University should insource services that are currently outsourced. 

Composition

The Task Team is made up of representatives from Council, workers, the Students’ Representative Council, students, staff and management, and is chaired by Advocate Dali Mpofu. 

Meetings

The Task Team has held regular meetings throughout December and January, and is making significant progress. 

Top up Payment

At its first meeting, the representatives of the workers requested the ITT to consider making a ‘top up’ payment to workers to address the low salaries that workers currently earn.

Following discussion, it was agreed:

  1. that a basic minimum salary be established and that no employee of a service provider working at Wits should earn below this level, and
  2. that it will be necessary to “top up” the earnings of workers who are currently outsourced. 

Minimum Salary

The ITT discussed the level of the minimum salary and agreed that an affordable, phased approach should be adopted. The Task Team discussed proposals of R4500 and R5000, and proposed that the minimum salary be set at R5000 per month. 

Decision of Exco of Council

  1. The Exco of Council considered the proposals and agreed that R5000 was not affordable to the University. Exco agreed that the minimum salary be set at R4500 on the following basis:
  2. Although the cost is not immediately affordable, Exco is committed to the concept of a minimum salary, and to finding solutions to enable the University to afford the cost at a minimum salary level of R4500, and will accordingly make representations to the full Council of the University,
  3. The matter will have to be considered and decided upon by a full sitting of Council,
  4. Agreement has to be reached with precision on which employees of service providers this arrangement will apply to,
  5. Agreement has to be reached with the current service providers on the implementation to ensure that it is passed through to employees, and that
  6. Trade unions need to agree to the implementation of this arrangement. 

Council Decision

The proposal of R4500 as a minimum gross salary was approved by Council on 14 January 2016. Council agreed, subject to the conditions above, that the University should pay an allowance to any worker of a service provider whose gross salary is below R4500. The allowance to be paid is the difference between the workers actual earnings, up to the amount of R4500. 

Next Steps

Wits has agreed to pay the allowance to outsourced workers who qualify, as from the 1st of January 2016. The University’s management is now working on the practical arrangements in this regard. 

The ITT has formed a number of sub-committees which are working on issues of demarcation and finance. 

The University community will be given regular updates on the progress made by the Task Team.

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