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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

UFS staff get salary adjustment of 13,35%
2008-11-13

 

At the signing of the salary agreement were, from the left: Prof. Johan Grobbelaar, Chairperson of UVPERSU, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS, and Ms Senovia Welman, Chairperson of NEHAWU.
Photo: Anita Lombard

UFS staff get salary adjustment of 13,35%

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) management and trade unions have agreed on an improvement in the service benefits of staff of 16,55% for 2009. This includes a general salary adjustment of 13,35% (according to the estimated government subsidy that will be received in 2009).

“The negotiating parties agreed that adjustments could vary from a minimum of 13,00%, or more, depending on the government subsidy and the model forecasts. If the minimum of 13,00% is not affordable, the parties will re-negotiate,” said Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS.

“The negotiations were conducted in a positive spirit and the parties are in agreement that it is an exceptionally good adjustment – being higher than for example the increase in medical premiums,” said Prof. Verschoor.

The agreement was signed yesterday by representatives of the UFS management and the trade unions, UVPERSU and NEHAWU.

An additional once-off non-pensionable bonus of R3 390 will also be paid to staff later this year.

The bonus will be paid to all staff members who were in the employ of the UFS on UFS conditions of service on 10 November 2008 and who assumed duties before 1 October 2008. This includes all former Vista staff, regardless of whether they have already been aligned with UFS conditions of service.


The bonus is payable in recognition of the role played by staff during the year to promote the UFS as a university of excellence and as confirmation of the role and effectiveness of the remuneration model.

“It is important to note that this bonus can be paid due to the favourable financial outcome of 2008,” said Prof. Verschoor.

It is the intention to pass the maximum benefit possible on to staff without exceeding the limits of financial sustainability of the institution. For this reason, the negotiating parties reaffirmed their commitment to the Multiple-year Income-related Remuneration Improvement Model used as a framework for negotiations. The model and its applications are unique and has as a point of departure that the UFS must be and remain financially sustainable.

Additional funding (0,70%) was also negotiated. This will be allocated on 1 January 2009 to accelerate the phasing-in of medical benefits and, if possible, to finalise the phasing-in process. Agreement was reached that 2,50% will be allocated for growth in capacity building to ensure that provision is made for the growth of the UFS over the last few years, as well as the incorporation of Vista staff.

The agreement also applies to all staff members of the two above-mentioned campuses whose conditions of employment have already been aligned with those of the Main Campus.

The implementation date for the salary adjustment is 1 January 2009. The adjustment will be calculated on the total remuneration package.

In 2008, a total improvement of service benefits of 9,32% and a salary adjustment of 7,52% were paid to employees. Staff received a once-off non-pensionable bonus of R3 000 at the end of 2007.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
12 November 2007
 

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