On behalf of the UCT executive, I would like to thank all the staff members who joined us for the special online assembly yesterday morning. I was delighted to hear that over 3 000 of you participated in the session. I would also like to thank my fellow executive members for providing updates from their various portfolios.
If you were unable to join the online event, you can view or download the recordings (which are zero-rated, excluding MTN users):
Staff members were understandably engaged with the discussions, asking pertinent human resource-related questions, raising queries about support for staff during this unusual period, and enquiring about the financial implications of the coronavirus lockdown.
I trust that the executive and I managed to allay any fears and respond adequately to any concerns that you may have had. As I mentioned in my presentation, while finances are a challenge in all sectors and industries, both in our country and globally, the executive has committed to keep paying the salaries of current staff in 2020 whether they work remotely or on campus.
The coronavirus pandemic has provided an opportunity for us as an institution to see how we can work differently. While it has become clear that we can still be productive without being in a physical work or office space, it has also become evident that certain work is incredibly difficult to do off site. Beyond COVID-19, and that time will come, we need to ask ourselves what role remote working will play in our lives. We continue working hard on planning a phased return to campus, and those required to return to campus will, of course, have to adhere to strict social distancing and related regulations.
We fully recognise the complexities that you have been dealing with during this time, so I appeal to you to care for one another, and for all of you to practice empathy and understanding when engaging with each other.
I also encourage all of you who are able, to give to the COVID-19 UCT Emergency Fund, no matter how small the amount. Every little bit counts.
Thank you again for joining the assembly yesterday. We would really appreciate hearing back from you, so please take the time to complete a short survey on the session.
I hope that you will take part in similar online meetings in the future – it’s essential to keep lines of communication open during these uncertain times.
Please continue to stay safe, wear your masks when out in public and take time to rest.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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