The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) held its monthly board meeting on September 30, where the board voted to increase staff and executive wages and heard reports from the executives about upcoming events, fall bursaries, and MiWay services.
Increase in staff wages
The UTMSU board approved a motion to increase the union’s part-time staff wages to $16 an hour. This increase follows Ontario’s increase of minimum wage from $15 to $15.50. According to the meeting agenda, “Minimum wage is not enough for students as being a student is very expensive.”
Robert Le, from Division Ⅱ, explained after the vote that “with inflation on the rise… so many people are cash strapped, especially students.” Le explained that inflation only added to students’ stress levels. “We believe that the minimum wage that we’re proposing is reflective of the UTMSU’s goals and values as an organization.”
The UTMSU also approved an executive members’ wage increase. The executive members abstained from voting on this motion.
Alistair Kirk, vice president external, noted that on October 18, the UTMSU will be hosting a Municipal Elections debate followed by a meet-and-greet to give students a chance to have one-on-one chats with the candidates. The UTMSU also plans to host two housing-related legal workshops in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights and the UTM Pre-Law Organization. The workshops will be “based on beginning and ending your tenancy, maintenance, and eviction,” Kirk said.
Fatima Yakubi, vice-president campus life, highlighted that orientation was a success as well as detailed the UTMSU’s upcoming reading week trip to Niagara Falls, which will offer students the opportunity to meet new people and destress.
Reagan Roopnarine, vice-president equity, reported that over 80 students have applied for the UTMSU’s fall bursaries. She said that the UTMSU expects to receive 120 student applications in total.
Wenhan (Berry) Lou, vice-president internal, reported that the UTMSU has hired new Blind Duck staff as well as a Chief Returning Officer for its fall by-elections. The UTMSU fall by-election for first year, part time, and Mississauga Academy of Medicine representatives will continue until October 5.
President Maëlis Barre said that she recently lobbied MiWay and UTM administration regarding student concerns about UTM’s public transport and shuttle bus. As well, Barre reported that the Free Breakfast Wednesdays are selling out every week.
The UTMSU fall by-election will continue until October 5.
As part of eXpression Against Oppression, an annual event series that is happening from October 4–7 this year, the UTMSU is hosting multiple events including a Paint and Consent Talk Night, an Active Bystander Training, and Open Mic Night.
Halloweek will feature events including a Haunted House, Halloween Carnival and Pub Night from October 25–27.