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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 increase of at least 7,25%
2007-11-20

 

During the signing of the UFS's salary agreement were, from the left: Mr Olehile Moeng (Chairperson of NEHAWU), Prof. Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS), and Prof. Johan Grobbelaar (Chairperson of UVPERSU and spokesperson of the Joint Union Forum).
 

UFS staff get salary increase of at least 7,25%

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) management and trade unions have agreed on an increase of 9,32% in the service benefits of staff for 2008. This includes a general minimum salary increase of 7,25%.

A once-off non-pensionable bonus of R3 000 will be paid in December 2007.

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

“As the state subsidy level is unfortunately not yet known, remuneration could vary several percentage points between a window of 7,25 and 8,39%,” said Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Should the government subsidy be such that the increase falls outside the window of 8,39%, the parties will negotiate again.

The bonus will be paid to staff members who were employed by the UFS on UFS conditions of service on 14 November 2007 and who assumed duties before 1 October 2007.

The bonus is payable in December 2007 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 2007,” said Prof. Fourie.

“Our intention is 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,” said Prof. Fourie and Prof. Johan Grobbelaar, Chairperson of UVPERSU and Spokesperson of the Joint Union Forum.

The agreement provides for the phasing in of fringe benefits of contract appointments for 2008.  This includes the implementation of a pension/provident fund, housing allowance and the medical fund allowance as from 1 January 2008 to staff who are appointed on a contract basis.

Agreement was also reached that 1,0% will be allocated for structural adjustments in order to partially address the backlog in respect of remuneration packages of other higher education institutions.  These adjustments will be made after further investigations during 2008. 

The post levels that have been earmarked for adjustment are academic staff (associate professor, professor and dean) as well as certain post levels in the support services.

An additional R500 000 will be allocated to accelerate the rate of phasing in the medical fund allowances. 

The implementation date for the salary adjustments is 1 January 2008, but could possibly be implemented only at a later stage due to logistical reasons.   The adjustment will be calculated on the remuneration package.

The agreement also applies to all staff members of the Vista and Qwaqwa Campuses whose conditions of employment have already been aligned with those of the Main Campus.

Prof. Grobbelaar said that salary negotiations were never easy, but the model is an important tool.  He said the Joint Union Forum illustrates that people from different groups can work together if they share the same commitment and goal.

In 2007, a total salary adjustment of 5,7% and a once-off non-pensionable bonus of R2 000 was paid to staff.

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
20 November 2007

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