The UTMSU is currently working on raising the salaries of their executive members from $28,500 to $31,600.
According to meeting minutes recently released by the UTMSU for their Board of Directors meetings and their Committee meetings, the decision was passed during their first Policy & Procedures Committee Meeting on August 21st, 2018.
The Policy & Procedures Committee discusses the union’s policies and presents recommendations to the Board of Directors. The committee is composed of the UTMSU President Felipe Nagata, the VP University Affairs Andres Posada, the Executive Director Munib Sajjad, and a Division III Board of Directors member, Valentino Gomes.
During the meeting, Sajjad stated, “[…] one of the things I was looking into was the amount of work the executives actually do, the overall stipend that they receive, and the overall flow of the organization.”
Under Doug Ford, the conservative government of Ontario decided to freeze the minimum wage at $14, ending the rise of Ontario’s minimum wage to $15 at the beginning of 2019.
Sajjad cited Ontario’s recently legislated Bill 148, “a plan for fair workplaces and better jobs,” and said “[the UTMSU executive] wage has been under-paced for the last six to ten years.”
The meeting proceeded to move into an in-camera session for twenty-eight minutes. After they came out of in-camera, Sajjad stated that during the session in-camera, an amendment was brought forth to amend the minimum numbers of hours worked by the Executive from thirty to forty hours a week. As well, the salaries of the executive members would be raised to $31,600.
“This is to account for working at $15 per hour, forty hours per week,” Sajjad stated during the meeting. “This is in accordance with the hours actually worked and in being paid a fair wage. Again, this change is to reflect the work of the students’ union, and to address legal opinions which were passed on to us.”
Currently, as of the 2016-2017 academic year, the “Executive and Associate Remuneration” section of the UTMSU’s Operation Policy states that, “Members of the Executive shall receive an annual salary of $28,500 […] at the beginning of every fiscal year, the salary shall increase by the cost of inflation, using the CPI-Toronto, as defined by Statistics Canada.”
During the November 2nd Board of Directors Meeting, Gomes brought up the changes to the other directors, stating, “Since our UTMSU as a whole embraces fair wages in terms of our employees in places such as The Blind Duck, the Duck Stop, etc., it was noticed that executives were not actually being adequately paid themselves.”
“However,” he continued, “I wanted to bring this motion to the entirety of the Board of Directors, because during that meeting, I was the only Board of Director there, and the executives in attendance naturally have a conflict of interest.”
Sajjad went on to tell the board that $190,000 had been allocated in the budget for executive salaries at the beginning of their working term.
The motion to pass the Policy & Procedures minutes’ package, which included raising the salaries of the executive members from $28,500 to $31,600, passed unanimously, aside from the abstentions of the executive members present.
The motion to increase the wages was put forth by Valentino Gomes and the motion was passed on November 2nd, 2018. All members of the executive board abstained their vote.