Stop varsities exploiting workers

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Stop varsities exploiting workers

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Dear Vice-Chancellors, council members, donors and administrators of our universities,

As public institutions, universities have a duty to play a role in changing the culture of exploitation that proliferates our society. These spaces should be at the forefront of educating students about race, gender, class, sexuality and other sites of historical and contemporary oppression.

For as long as no action is taken by universities to end outsourcing at these institutions, any claims of attempts to transform universities is hollow. It is important to recognise that the person on each side of the till is determined by centuries of racial, class and gender oppression. As such, the struggle of the workers must be at the forefront of the struggle for decolonisation at our institutions.

True decolonisation must ensure the end to outsourcing, victimisation and the implementation of a basic living wage for workers. So we demand that insourcing becomes a principled commitment of a decolonised African university.

Together for justice,

Rhodes Must Fall; Left Students’ Forum; UCT NEHAWU, October6 Wits, October6 University of Johannesburg and the Black Students Movement at the university currently known as 'Rhodes'. 

Stop varsities exploiting workers
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Many of Mzansi’s leading universities still exploit and degrade the work of our mothers and fathers by paying them peanuts. To cut costs, many universities outsourced services leading to the dramatic reduction of wages and benefits for workers and in some cases the loss of jobs for those in cleaning, security, catering, transport and grounds-keeping.

Workers employed by external companies are also underpaid. Progressive student, staff and worker organisations from across the country including the The Rhodes Must Fall movement are calling for workers to be directly employed by universities and paid a dignified living wage. It is disturbing that these publicly funded institutions continue to prescribe a wage that keeps workers in poverty.