Supercare workers at Wits fear loss of contract

SUPERCARE workers fear that a services department staff member who takes pictures of their work will compromise their jobs.

Two workers were suspended last month after they were photographed eating in the Physics building basement. Workers are only permitted to eat in their change rooms.

One of the workers, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were not given an explanation after the photograph was taken by Morema Tefu, operations administrative assistant in the services department.

Jabulani Radebe, shop steward of the Supercare union, said the case against the workers was “useless” because they had been eating during their tea time in the morning.

An internal disciplinary hearing with the Supercare Workers’ Union was held and the workers were reinstated on April 1 after they won the case.

Workers camera shy

Radebe said workers should only be monitored by their supervisors. “All of us are human beings …  we have the job description, where we must start, where we must not start.”

Wits has opened its periodic tender application process for various outsourced services. Supercare’s contract was extended by eight  months, beginning in April.

Radebe said Tefu may want a new contractor to be hired when Supercare’s contract expires at the end of November.

Wits seeks new contractors

Theresa Main, director of services, said there is nothing irregular about the tender process. “An open and transparent procurement process is put in place for all services, where the underlying contract is drawing to a close,” she said last month.

Contractors are chosen “on the basis of merit based on the criteria and conditions set out by the university”, she said.

Tefu declined to comment.

Published in Vuvuzela 12th edition, 20th April 2012.