National Student Financial Aid Scheme workers go on strike

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JOHANNESBURG, October 28 – Workers at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on Monday embarked on strike action over disagreements related to – among other matters – performance management.

In a statement, NSFAS) said it “can confirm that notice for the strike, in terms of Section 64 (d) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, as amended, was received from the National Education Health & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu). The strike action will resume on Monday 28 October 2019”.

“The current issue of contention which is the Performance Management System is one of many legacy issues that have negatively affected the performance of the Scheme,” said the student finance body.

“The Terms of Reference of the Administrator includes managing the day -to -day work of the entity which focuses on the strengthening of structures, systems, and policies that will ensure good governance and effective management of the core operational mandate of NSFAS.”

In the statement, NSFAS said it has not been allocated any funds for bonuses for the 2018/2019 financial year, and as a result, was not in any position to adhere to the demands of the Nehawu of ex gratia payment.

“We are disappointed that while we are trying to fix the entity under serious government challenges, the very same employees who need assistance seem not to appreciate the intervention government has brought to bring stability,” said NSFAS.

“Section 17 of the Constitution recognises the right to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions. Employees are urged to comply with the picketing rules in order to ensure that they are protected.

“We have taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all our employees, striking and non-striking during this time. All the required business continuity and contingency plans are in place to manage the impact of the potential industrial action.”

NSFAS said the 2020 application cycle will not be affected by the strike.

All applications are submitted online via smartphone, computer, NYDA centres, local libraries, GCIS Thusong centres, and Department of Basic Education District Teacher Development Centres.

“A ‘no work no pay’ rule will be applied for the duration of the strike,” warned NSFAS.

African News Agency (ANA)