College of Cape Town Lecturers Go Unpaid as Management Ignores the Issue”

Cape Town – Extreme efforts to get the College of Cape Town’s management to recognise the plight of seven unpaid staff members at its City Campus have fallen on deaf ears as the members remain unpaid since January.

 

The lecturers are part of the college’s Amended Senior Certificate programme offered from October until June.

They had a contract from October until December, and were paid for those months, but were not issued a new contract in the new year.

 

Offer letters were sent only at the end of April, which were incorrectly dated and showed a 50% reduction in the hourly pay rate.

 

The lecturers would not concede to this and embarked on a short strike. In the amended offer letter, the date had been changed but the rate with the massive reduction remained the same.

Last year, the hourly rate was R386.34, which was reduced to R152.49. The lecturers would not accept the reduced rate and have not been remunerated from January until June.

 

An affected staff member, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Considering the seemingly nonchalant silence by the college, the affected staff feel they have exhausted all avenues to solicit a response from the college regarding the matter and be able to resolve it internally. All we are receiving is silence.

“The gravity of the effect of the non-settlement and subsequent non-payment of the salaries has had enormous financial, emotional and psychological impetus on affected lecturers, considering that some of the lecturers had this as one of their major and/or only sources of income and sustenance.

“Some had to borrow money for transport for their day-today travel routines to go and teach.

 

“We were thrown into dire financial challenges: medical expenses to settle, rent to pay and many others. We are currently seeking legal recourse by way of lodging a dispute with the CCMA.”

 

Attempts were made to reach the principal, Dr Manager Mhangarai Muswaba, and the college, but no response was received.

Affected lecturer Trudy Rushin said: “It saddens me that a college group, in a sector so crucial to our country’s development, can ignore repeated requests from staff to meet, to resolve a matter like this.

 

“We have worked hard, putting our adult matric students first, and all we want is to be paid for our hours worked, at the rate specified in the course budget, valid from October 2022 to June 2023. Informing us of a rate reduction months after we had started is unacceptable.”

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