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SU policy committee proposes scrapping monthly bonuses for faculty representatives

By Kiana Negahdari, March 14 2017 —

The Students’ Union Policy Development and Review Committee (PDRC) has brought forward a proposal to repeal the $50 monthly bonuses of SU faculty representatives.

According to SU vice-president operations and finance Branden Cave, who chairs PDRC, the proposal is a way to ensure the SU’s money is spent efficiently and that an effective mechanism is in place to hold faculty representatives accountable.

“Why elected officials get paid is a matter of access,” Cave said. “We don’t get paid to do our work — we get paid so that we are able to do that work. As far as it being a motivation to help with work ethic, I am not confident that a $50 bonus is going to make the difference between somebody who does their job really well and someone who does the bare minimum.”

At the end of the month, each faculty representative provides a monthly report and the five SU executives review their performance. If progress has been made regarding their personal goals, faculty representatives can be awarded an additional $50 on top of their $350 monthly honorarium.

PDRC’s proposal was brought to SLC as a discussion item at their March 7 meeting. Council members debated the merits of the proposal for roughly 30 minutes.

Haskayne School of Business representative Ryan Wallace said the current process of issuing and denying monthly bonuses “is flawed.”

“It is important to note that this proposition came forward as a discussion item so that PDRC could gather information and feedback from SLC on the bonus structure system. It is the duty of SLC to hold each other accountable and having executives doll out the bonus can cause tension and result in decisions being made that should be made by the collective council,” Wallace said. “SLC members are all equal and the current structure can make it seem as though they are superseded by executives.”

Some of the alternative ideas brought up at the March 7 SLC meeting included creating a tiered bonus system and scrapping the bonus completely, while increasing the monthly honorarium for faculty representatives.

Though some members of SLC were in favour of PDRC’s proposal, SU vice-president external Tristan Bray argued that the honorarium is already quite low and revoking the bonuses might affect the “economic accessibility” of SLC.

According to Cave, the idea has been open for discussion since mid-February. He said the March 7 discussion was very constructive.

“There were a lot of concerns and ideas that PDRC hadn’t considered at this point. I’m really looking forward to taking that back to PDRC for discussion,” Cave said.

SLC members will vote on the proposal’s first reading at their March 21 meeting.

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