Joining NTEU





Please fill in one of our NTEU Application Form 2012‌, including the authorisation for salary deduction, and return it to the Administrator at the Branch Office, Room 5, Lower Ground Floor, Geography Department.

Alternatively, contact one of the members of the Executive to come and discuss how to join and how the union could serve you. 


The Union raises two subscriptions one is set at national congress level and there is provision of a Branch to set its own local subscription in addition to that.  The NTEU (Rhodes) Branch's subscription, deducted from salary, is R90.00 per month. 

As you might expect these subscriptions change from time-to-time.

One way of looking at this is to compare it with the costs of an insurance policy, which you hold in case problems arise although you don’t particularly expect them to. However, for those interested in having a say, NTEU membership offers far more scope for resolving your disciplinary, grievance, information and gains your participation, through the Branch Executive Committee activities, in deliberations than most insurance policies!



There are 3 main reasons:

  • support for individuals in difficulty,
  • to be represented at negotiations with our employer, and
  • to have a say in national level discussions.

1. Support for individuals in trouble Unions exist to serve their members, and rely on members’ subscriptions for their survival. If you have a disagreement with your boss - e.g. a Head of Department or Division - it is very helpful to have someone (a) to turn to for advice, and (b) who can join you in making representations or indeed take up a matter on your behalf if you are being unfairly treated.

2. Being represented in negotiations with our employer The employer negotiates salaries and conditions of service with the unions - in this university, NTEU and NEHAWU - as elected representatives of the staff. If you want a say in the positions your representatives are taking on your behalf, pay your subscription and join in the discussion!

3. Having a say in national level discussions The government, with a strong mandate from the voters of S. Africa, wants a coordinated national higher education system that meets the needs of the country. The Higher Education Act, with amendments, gives the national Minister of Higher Education and Training substantial powers to help him/her achieve this, and of course universities depend on national funding from the taxpayer as well as fee income from students.

In July 2000 the Council on Higher Education published recommendations to the Minister on restructuring Higher Education in S. Africa. NTEU not only submitted its views on what should be done, but also participated in a meeting with, then, Minister Asmal in discussing these recommendations.

The NTEU has taken a lead in organising meetings with other unions locally and internationally. We emphasize it is important that staff be fully involved in decisions affecting their futures, and watch developments closely. We have consistently pushed for a co-determinative approach so that (even if it takes a lot of time to agree) all unions are presenting a common front. The NTEU is active in making submissions on national policy on Higher Education.



Our basic stance has been one of “joint problem solving” rather than “confrontation”, as we want the University to succeed in the difficult times that face us, and feel that good working relationships amongst all categories of staff are important. Openness, and seeking a consensus solution which all will support, are important features and will give much more reliable results than procedural manoeuvring and short-term tactical approaches. We mostly use e-mail to keep our members informed of developments.

Many staff members ask what happens if there is a call to strike, do I have to down tools if the issue only relates to the general staff and not my sub-sector? Well, the answer is yes, if a ballot supports a strike, but, people watching discussions at the University can see that the NTEU comes from a tradition where a primary aim in negotiations is to present a case so well argued that it is very difficult for the other side to refuse. Remember when your issues are disputed you would want the support of members from other sub-sectors to help achieve your goals. 



NTEU has been awarded seats on the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) for Education, Training and Development Practices, which is responsible for overseeing the use of Skills Levy funds for staff development in schools and universities, and members of NTEU have been particularly active in SETA discussions on Learnerships and Quality Assurance, as well as in the “Levy Chamber” promoting the interests of university staff and others in the working of the SETA. We also occupy a full seat on the Board of the SETA.  We will do everything we can to promote high quality programmes for staff development.



  • To organise and represent all employees in the tertiary education sector and related institutions.
  • To protect, defend, represent and advance the rights and interests of the Members at all levels of the Union.
  • To act for and on behalf of the Members of the Union.
  • To bargain at all levels with the State and employers on issues which are relevant to the working life of the members.
  • To make representation to the State, the employer bodies and to any other body, nationally or internationally, on behalf of the Members of the Union.
  • To promote and engage in collective bargaining with employers, and, where relevant, with the State, on issues which are relevant to the working life of the Members; and, to promote fair labour practices at tertiary institutions.
  • To ensure the individual and collective representation of the Members on all matters that might affect the working relationship of Members with their employers.
  • To co-ordinate the actions of the Members regarding matters of concern to them; and, to settle disputes affecting Members as individuals or as an organised group.
  • To advance the democratic participation of Members in the structures of governance at institutions of tertiary education and related institutions.
  • To critically examine the role of institutions of tertiary education in a changing society in an effort to promote the equitable and fullest utilisation of the resources of these institutions.
  • To equip Members with the relevant skills for effective participation in bargaining, policy-making and governance structures, and skills for the effective representation of their constituents.
  • To liaise, and co-operate, with other organisations in the tertiary education sector, nationally and internationally, which have similar objectives and policies.
  • To promote the efficient functioning of the tertiary education and related institutions in South Africa, promote critical thinking and education; defend academic freedom and autonomy, intellectual, creative and other property rights.
  • To ensure the recognition by all tertiary institutions of the fundamental human rights, including labour rights, of their employees, as set out in the current Constitution of South Africa.
  • To promote equitable educational opportunity and sound educational practices at tertiary institutions.
  • To promote communication, interaction and unanimity between Branches of the Union in order to ensure the proper implementation of the objectives and policies of the Union.
  • To issue media statements on behalf of the Members.
  • To strive for the fulfilment of every person's fundamental right to enjoy full and equal opportunity towards self-development by fostering an equitable and effective use of tertiary institution resources.
  • To perform any other functions incidental to the promotion, aims, objectives and mission of the Union.

The following appears in the Preamble Statement to the Union's Constitution

  • To these ends is established an organisation representing employees in tertiary education and related institutions in South Africa:

  • To protect and advance the rights, opinions, needs and interests of the membership of the National Tertiary Education Union and by extension the interests of Tertiary Education in South Africa and its communities.

  • To eliminate differences in benefit, entitlement and process and provide general protection for employees in the sector.

  • To engender the principles of co-determination between employer and employee and foster an environment that ensures current, or higher, standards of excellence in the work, teaching and research of tertiary education institutions.

  • To meet and respond to any perceived need to resolve contemporary problems facing society and foster teaching and research in the fulfilment of justice, peace, equality and social harmony and development.

  • To uphold the rights of individuals accorded by the Constitution and Laws of the Republic of South Africa.

Last Modified: Thu, 30 Aug 2018 12:39:47 SAST