Between the Motions: Councillors hear update on AMS services, approve pay increase for execs during transition period

The 2021/22 AMS Council met for the last time on Wednesday night to hear an end-of-year report on AMS services and to vote on executive transition honorariums.

Here’s what you might have missed.

At your service

Student Services Manager Mitchell Prost presented on the usage of AMS’s services this year to Council.

In total, the AMS’s services had a total of 10,674 interactions this year, compared to 4,381 last year. Prost said that interactions are defined differently by each service.

The AMS Food Bank had the most interactions with 7,496 between May 1, 2021 and March 2022, which Prost explained means individual visits.

He showed a “sobering” graph to show the increase in annual interactions of the food bank since 2007.

“It is a little bit more than exponential. It speaks for itself,” he said.

Prost also said the food bank used 131 per cent of its $89,350 budget to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand. He said that the $214,414 spent on food purchasing this year was offset by donations and grants from the VP Students portfolio.

The next most-used AMS services were AMS Tutoring and AMS eHub with 1,029 and 749 interactions, respectively.

Pay up

Councillors also approved increases to the honoraria given to outgoing and incoming AMS execs during the transition period.

The approved motion will increase the honorarium from $1,200 to $2,500. This will be given out at the end of an exec's term.

Romina Hajizadeh, who brought the motion to Council from the HR Committee, said the honorarium was previously $1,500, but was reduced to $1,200 in 2013 due to budget cuts. She said the increases called for in last night’s motion were needed to keep up with inflation, and to compensate incoming execs who might not be getting paid during the transition period.

Councillor Julia Burnham expressed concern that the motion didn’t differentiate between the work of outgoing and incoming execs during the transition period. She said the focus of this policy should be on the new executives who are conducting hiring and onboarding before their contract starts.

She also said that she was worried that the policy’s expectation that incoming execs start working 15–20 hours per week during the transition would have negative impacts since they are not being paid and might not have time in their schedules.

“The incoming people are not yet taking an executive course load; they're probably doing their four to five classes … So codifying the 15 to 20 hours piece is tricky when it's also going to be finals week and all of that.”

Burnham later clarified that she supported the motion despite her concerns after Hajizadeh said it was important that it was passed to pay execs during this year’s transition period.

The motion eventually passed.

This article was updated to clarify what interactions with the AMS Food Bank means.