Volume 91, Issue 98

Thursday, April 2, 1998

cash grab


Pay increase for USC prez

By Karena Walter
Gazette Staff

In a move last night which sparked zero debate, the University Students' Council voted to increase the USC president's salary by five per cent next year.

The vote was a far cry from last year's council proposal to increase the president's salary. In that case, councillors voted 25-23 in a secret ballot not to raise the salary, after a heated debate which lasted over an hour and saw VPs battling on both sides of the issue.

The increase will mean an extra $1,238 for President-elect Ian Armour – a $22,704 salary compared to current President Ryan Parks' $21,623. It also means $1,220 more for the four VPs, whose salaries are dependent on the president's.

The motion last night was put forth by VP-finance Lucy Pinheiro and Parks.

Pinheiro said part of the rationale for the decision was that the Board of Directors loses money during their term. "We leave this job more in the hole than what we start with."

She outlined a list of expenses for the average Board member's current salary of $16,152 after taxes. The list included $4,800 in rent ($400 a month), $6,205 for food, $1,140 for utilities, $540 for telephone, $960 in gas, $1,400 for auto insurance, car repairs for $300, a parking pass for $342 and clothing for $400, leaving only $65 remaining.

"I think the rationale presented this year hits closer to home," Parks said, regarding the vote.

"We're not here to make a profit," he told council. "We benefit greatly by putting this on our [résumé]." However, he said they have to pay back student loans.

Another factor in the decision was that the USC president's salary is below some others, such as those at the University of British Columbia and Waterloo, both of which made over $23,000 in 1996/97.

Social Science President Michael Rubinoff spoke for the motion. "It's very difficult for any government to increase any salary," he said.

"You have to realize the work they do."

Nobody spoke against the motion. Although a tally of votes was not taken, approximately 42 people voted for the increase and five were against it.

"Until the salaries reach a reasonable average I'd like to see a more gradual increase," Parks said, but added he doesn't want USC fees to go up.

The increase will not affect the 1997/98 Board. Student fees will not increase and Pinheiro said the money will come from the operations, which are doing better than expected.

Next year's President Ian Armour said he did not expect the increase but believed it was justified. "Either way I was going to do the same job."

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