Recognition Agreement

Recognition Agreement

UKSU was involved in bargaining for the 2009 Recognition Agreement (RA) and again with the 2021 RA.

The 2009 Recognition Agreement (RA) saw UKSU ‘officially’ recognised to serve both academic and support staff. As with 2009, the 2021 Recognition Agreement also draws no distinction between academic and support staff.  UKSU is thus recognised to serve both academic and support staff interests. 

UKSU was the only union that met the recognition criteria of 20% of staff as its members in terms of the 2009 RA. When the two unions, NEHAWU & NTEU, were derecognised in 2018, for not meeting the 2009 threshold, UKSU entered into co-operation agreements, firstly with NEHAWU and later also with NTEU.

In December 2021 a new RA was entered into between management and three unions acting jointly: NEHAWU, NTEU and UKSU. Based on this RA, the Bargaining Unit is made up of:

  • All members of the University staff appointed on permanent conditions of service;
  • Staff appointed on fixed-term contracts who have been on the payroll of the University, in the same position, for a period of 12 months and longer.

The RA provides for a Labour Relations Forum (LRF) to be formed within 15 days, which is mid-January 2022. The LRF will be the UKZN forum for labour, represented by NEHAWU, NTEU & UKSU, and management to engage on all labour related issues. This will include bargaining on salaries and conditions of service and consultation as provided for in the RA.

The three unions – NEHAWU, NTEU, UKSU – resolved to act jointly to obtain recognition as a collective.   The 2021 RA provides for recognition at 50%+1, with the unions’ representation counted collectively and not individually per union. If one or more of the unions leaves the acting jointly status and the other two or even if one remains, hold 50%+1, then recognition will continue for the unions making up the 50%+1 status.