The folks at UTMSU work hard, and they absolutely deserve the salary increase, so why the fuss?
If you ask any UTMSU executive this year or in the past, they will tell you that they are overworked and underpaid. And I believe them. I have personally witnessed their grueling schedules, and the energy they put into their work. Just take a night stroll by the student center any weekday, you’re bound to see a few of them still at the office.
Yet, the fee increase has made quite a few people unhappy. Why is this? Sure, it would have helped if there were no scandals, or if the scandals were handled with a bit more maturity. And we all wish we had the ears of our officials. But I think through the years, for one reason or another, the UTMSU has lost its vision.
If you’re an optimist, you might imagine the student government being made up of the best and brightest. They get things done, own up to their mistakes, and you’re a bit melancholy at the thought of them leaving to do greater and better things. In which case, what is an extra dollar per year from everyone at UTM? Heck, doubling their salaries will only cost me $10 bucks, and that’s my “lost Tcard” budget.
But that’s probably never going to happen, so what about this:
It’s a volunteer position. They get to plan some parties, order some pizza, and even sit in on meetings and pretend the administration cares. At the end of the year, they leave with some more friends, a new line in their resume, and if no one will hire them they can come back and do some coordinating or whatever.
Either way is fine. The salary matches the expectation which matches with the responsibility. That is not what we have now. We have a student union that tries to do too much, accomplishes too little, and is responsible to no one. So what if the UTMSU last year failed to deliver on a single one of their campaign promises? They get to collect their paychecks and not “respond for a comment on any of the work they have done while in office this year.” (The Medium, March 2018).
UTMSU should rethink their role on campus if people think the work being done deserves less than minimum wage.