TRUSU’s campaign, Fight for 15, raised a lot of questions at last year’s Annual General Meeting. The main question being, how can they only pay $11 per hour to their members when they are fighting for a $15 per hour minimum wage?
On Jan. 24 TRUSU hosted this year’s AGM and, on the agenda, was a special resolution to change its honoraria policy.
The honoraria policy, that was amended back in 2015, states executive members, advocacy representatives and directors-at-large were to be paid a flat rate of $11 per hour. As the special resolution was passed at the AGM, it means that members will now be paid whatever the province’s current minimum wage is.
Tatiana Gilbert, TRUSU’s president, says that this change is line with the unions commitment to a $15 per hour minimum wage.
“It’s not really a matter of if it will get changed, it’s a matter of when,” Gilbert said.
One concern that came with this change was the feasibility if the minimum wage were to raise to $20 per hour or more.
“I’m sure if it were to go to that level, we would take some great consideration because that is quite a hike from the current minimum wage,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert says that having the policy in line with the B.C. minimum wage is not only a great incentive for students who may be considering running in the upcoming election but also fairer for current members.
“A lot of student representatives who decide to run in the election sometimes, myself included, working for the Student’s Union is the only job you’ll have. A lot of students depend on their honoraria for paying rent or getting groceries or paying tuition,” Gilbert said.
The new policy also reduced the maximum hours that executive members can work per bi-weekly period from 50 hours to 40 hours.