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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

UFS staff gets a salary adjustment of 10,00%
2009-11-04

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) management and trade unions have agreed on an improvement in the service benefits of staff of 12,81% for 2010. This includes a general salary adjustment of 10,00% (according to the estimated government subsidy that will be received in 2010).

The agreement was signed on Friday, 30 October 2009 by representatives of the UFS management and the trade unions UVPERSU and NEHAWU.

The negotiating parties agreed that adjustments could vary from a minimum of 8,98% or more, depending on the government subsidy and the model forecasts. If the minimum of 8,98% is not affordable, the parties will re-negotiate.

An additional once-off, non-pensionable bonus of R2 000 will also be paid to staff later this year. The bonus will be paid to all staff members who were in the employment of the university on UFS conditions of service on 29 October 2009 and who assumed duties before 1 October 2009. 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 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 have as a point of departure that the UFS must be and remains financially sustainable.

Agreement was reached that 2,45% 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. An allocation of 0,14% will be made towards the final phasing in of fringe benefits. It will be used to provide group life insurance to all service workers. An agreement was also reached that 0,22% will be allocated towards structural adjustments of certain levels of the support services salary structure.

The implementation date for the salary adjustment is 1 January 2010. The adjustment will be calculated on the total remuneration package.

In 2009, a total salary adjustment of 16,13% was paid to staff and they received a once-off non-pensionable bonus of R3 390 at the end of 2008.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
3 November 2009

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