The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) Ad Hoc Negotiations Committee has recommended that the organization terminate its Associate Membership Agreement (AMA) with the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union.
The agreement, effective since April 30, 2008, is meant to “co-ordinate and streamline resources” of the UTSU and UTMSU, as well as bind the two unions’ governance and fee remittance structures.
In February, both organizations had sixty days to renegotiate the agreement. During the period of talks, former president of the UTSU Mathias Memmel said that “both parties recognize that the UTSU-UTMSU relationship has changed since 2008, when the agreement was signed. For example, the agreement forbids the UTMSU from doing advocacy work on university-wide issues, which doesn’t make sense anymore.”
However, the talks stalled, leaving the next executive teams of the 2018-2019 year to carry on negotiations.
According to the agreement, UTM students pay one fee and three levies to the UTSU each year. During the UTSU’s August 15th Board of Directors meeting, VP University Affairs Joshua Grondin estimated that the UTSU should expect a revenue decrease of $82,000 per year from a loss of UTM student revenue.
To make up for this lost revenue, the UTSU is looking into other avenues of profit. The union plans to request donations from alumni, as well as open for-profit services which include renting conference spaces and running a café. The UTSU is also considering increasing their levy to act as a counterbalance to the lost revenue.
As specified by the AMA, the agreement can be terminated by either a ¾ majority from both unions’ board of directors followed by a ¾ majority at a general meeting, or a referendum of both memberships.
Neither UTSU President Anne Boucher or UTMSU President Felipe Negata responded to The Medium’s request for comment as of press time.