By John Ployer
Student council on Sunday voted unanimously in favour of giving councillors compensation for their work.
With the passage of the “Councillor Compensation” policy, councillors will now be entitled to up to $200 in compensation at the end of their term.
“The University of Prince Edward Island Student Union believes that councillors of the Student Union Council should be compensated for the time and effort they put into council and the campus throughout the school year,” the policy reads.
The policy was read to council by President Emma Drake. It passed unanimously as part of an omnibus with several other policies.
The $200 comes with some stipulations. For example, councillors must have sat on council for at least one semester, and councillors who have been impeached will be ineligible to receive compensation for their work.
Councillors can also receive less than the full $200 as well. If councillors do not meet all requirements, they may still be entitled to payment from the Student Union. The breakdown of the compensation method is summarized below:
- $75 for meeting certain requirements during student council
- $50 for attending extra-council meetings such as council orientation and committees
- $50 for taking part in at least four “volunteer opportunities” through the Student Union
- $25 for putting on an initiative/outreach event with their respective constituency
While some of the conditions are very straightforward, others are more vague. In order to get full the $75 from their conduct in council, the policy says that councillors must be “engaged in discussion, asks questions and add value to the discussion during council meetings.” How exactly engagement and value are quantified are not clear.
The requirements that councillors read documents ahead of council and vote “with the best interests of their constituents” in mind also appears difficult to enforce.
When asked by The Cadre, President Emma Drake said that the Chair of Council has the responsibility to decide if councillors meet the criteria, but listed ways the Chair could evaluate them.
“As this is the responsibility of the Chair of Council, they will be taking notes of each of the Councillors and note the level in which they are active and engaged,” she said.
“Additionally, the Chair of Council will have access to the live-stream & official minutes of each meeting and can refer back to each of those as a resource when determining engagement.”
The policy comes into effect for councillors serving this year. The policy can be found here.