The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 24. During the meeting, attendees voted to increase SCSU executives’ pay to $19 per hour. They were also presented with executives’ reports and an audit report.
Changes to honorarium, remuneration policy
A motion to increase the remuneration paid to SCSU executives was approved at the meeting. Currently, the vice-presidents are paid $13.53 per hour and the president is paid $14.76 per hour. According to the motion, executive pay would increase to $19 per hour for all executives, and executives may be paid for up to a maximum of 40 hours per week.
President Sarah Abdillahi explained that the rationale for these changes stems from the SCSU’s advocacy for a basic living income. She said that, after researching the remuneration norms among student unions in the GTA, they discovered that most unions pay their executives $19 per hour. “We would want [the SCSU’s pay] to be similar to what our counterparts at other student unions are getting paid as well,” she said.
The University of Toronto Students’ Union made a similar change in 2020, increasing its executive pay to $19 an hour.
Speaking against the motion, UTSC Jewish Student Life President Yardena Rosenblum expressed concerns with the SCSU increasing its wages without any promise that the executives will put in any additional work to deserve the increase.
On the other hand, a UTSC student present at the meeting remarked that “knowing that other student unions get paid $19 an hour,” the SCSU executives “deserve it as well.”
Another policy was also passed that financially compensates members of the SCSU board of directors for their work. The directors, having fulfilled their responsibilities for the entirety of their terms, will receive a $500 honorarium “for their service to the UTSC student body.”
Abdillahi, in her motivation for the honorarium policy motion, talked about how the SCSU acknowledges the work that the directors put in to represent and advocate for their constituencies. Abdillahi added that the policy also holds the directors accountable for the amount of work they contribute to their constituency since the directors’ honoraria will be proportional to the degree to which they fulfill their responsibilities. “So, if the [director] puts in 75 per cent of the hours of the responsibilities… then they would be receiving 75 per cent of the [set honorarium],” she explained.
According to the report on the union’s audited financial statements, the SCSU saw a slight decrease in its revenues and expenses in 2021 as compared to its revenues and expenses in 2020.
The SCSU’s revenues dropped two per cent from 2020 to $6.6 million in 2021. Expenses dropped by 8 per cent from 2020 to $5.7 million in 2021. This left the SCSU with a surplus of over $981,000 for the year of 2021, a 120 per cent increase from the 2020 surplus.
The SCSU’s net assets at the end of its term also increased by 35 per cent, to $3.8 million in 2021.
Vice-President Academics and University Affairs Rimsha Rahman provided updates on the Education For All Campaign. She explained that, as part of this campaign, the SCSU is a stakeholder in the external consultations that are taking place to expand the credit/no credit policy, and that the executives will have an update on this matter in December 2021.
Another victory for this campaign has been the acceptance of the self-diagnosed sick notes through Acorn. “Self-declared sick notes through Acorn will now be a permanent measure and students are not required to seek other documentation if they use this tool,” said Rahman.
Editor’s note (December 1): This article has been updated to remove a student’s name.