UCT staff are being invited to comment on the results of the UCT Organisational Climate Survey conducted in 2003, following feedback sessions which are to be held throughout the campus.
These sessions are to be held in all faculties and departments.
Of the 3 649 questionnaires that were distributed to all staff on UCT's payroll, 1 152 were returned.
In a statement to the university community, vice-chancellor Professor Njabulo Ndebele said that the approximate return rate of 31% was disappointing.
"I had hoped that many more staff would have taken the opportunity to express their views. "Nevertheless, to obtain the opinions of 1 152 employees across all faculties, pay classes and ranks is quite significant and a first for UCT."
Although pleased with certain results, Ndebele said he was concerned that the survey depicted some serious issues. On the positive side, staff expressed high job satisfaction, a strong sense of belonging and a desire to remain at UCT.
However, of some concern was that the survey depicted some serious issues.
"PASS staff, for example, indicated some negative aspects of working at UCT are salaries, opportunities for promotion and lack of personal recognition," he pointed out. "We are already acting on some of these matters, but will endeavour to begin a process to ensure that these concerns are investigated and an appropriate intervention launched to effect change in this regard."
Black and women staff identified equity as an area of deep concern. Of all the forms of discrimination identified, discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity was most frequently cited as an issue. Gender discrimination also emerged as an area of concern.
Ndebele said: "These concerns warrant immediate and effective attention. Therefore, I am asking everyone to help identify mechanisms and interventions we can undertake to eradicate these inequities. Recommendations and suggestions from staff will be seriously considered.
"I have asked all deans, directors and heads of departments to discuss the findings with their staff and specifically request ideas for action. All faculties and PASS departments will be required to submit plans describing the steps they will embark on to improve the institutional climate and promote and celebrate diversity."
The Transformation Office will then compile a report collating all these ideas and proposals, which will be handed to Ndebele who will ensure that the appropriate action is taken.
According to the statement, over the next few months the university will review all policies aimed at promoting equal opportunities and eradicating unfair discrimination.
The policy on sexual harassment and rape is currently being reviewed and has been presented in its revised form to the Institutional Forum.
The vice-chancellor explained that since the climate survey did not sufficiently cover disabilities, the employment equity manager, Dr Sabera Surtee, would be giving this more attention.
"With a new employment equity policy in place and clear actions that are aimed at changing and improving the institutional climate, I am convinced that UCT will move closer to the goals of our mission statement. Let us now, however, take a bold leap forward and make the university a truly South African one that is home to all its members," Ndebele concluded.
For more information on and around the survey visit the UCT website at www.uct.ac.za. Go to the staff portal where you will find a link button "Institutional climate survey". Suggestions, comments and complaints can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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