SMU Benchmarking Tour: Engagement with Wits University
Emanating from the salary negotiations, the parties (SMU Management and Organised Labour) agreed to undertake a benchmarking tour with a number of Universities to investigate/explore the following issues to better improve current practices:
a) Salary advances payable
b) Notch progression/ percentiles
c) Medical Aid subsidy
d) Study beneﬁt subsidy on all accredited public and private colleges, universities and higher education institutions
e) Advance on 13th cheque
The following SMU delegation, comprising of HR and Organised Labour, met with the HR Team at Wits University on 07 July 2022:
• Odette Ramsingh (Human Resources)
• Pontsho Hlalethwa (Human Resources)
• Kwenze Khuzwayo (Human Resources)
• Tshifhiwa Mulaudzi (NEHAWU)
• Gladys Malema (NEHAWU)
• Jacob Lekabe (APSA/SAPTU Collaboration)
• Kabelo Mokoape (representing APSA/SAPTU Collaboration)
• Lizette Van der Merwe (representing APSA/SAPTU Collaboration)
The SMU delegation appreciated the willingness of Wits University to engage on the various issues that we as SMU are currently wrestling with as we seek solutions that are in the best interest of the employees and the University. Wits University openly shared their information and knowledge with SMU, and the delegation left the engagement with many insights and much ‘food for thought’.
There is no doubt that engagements of this nature will deﬁnitely enrich perspectives on policy, practices and approaches, and will impact on the quality of decisions that SMU will take on the matters mentioned. Within this context of learning and growing, it is therefore with excitement that the delegation will engage with the HR Team at the University of Mpumalanga on 28 July 2022.
Once all engagements are concluded, a position paper will be drafted for Executive Management Committee for the necessary direction and decision.
What the joint benchmarking process demonstrates is a commitment by the parties to meaningfully explore the issues, and in an open and transparent manner to seek solutions. What it will also serve to do according to Ms Odette Ramsingh, SD: Human Resources at SMU, ‘is consolidate a continued relationship of knowledge and information sharing between the respective universities that will bode well for embedding better practices in the sector’.
The strategic partnership between SMU Management and Organised Labour was commented upon when a representative from the host University indicated that ‘It was such a pleasure to have hosted a diverse audience; a ﬁrst I must say where management and organised labour collaborate on such an important goal of benchmarking practices’.