By: Tamanna T., Staff Writer
Motion on Leave of Absence Policy Amendment
SFSS vice-president internal and organisational development Corbett Gildersleve put forward a motion to amend the leave of absence policy for executives and council members. The motion proposed increased flexibility in various types of leaves. It states leave of absences are “basic” and force “a counselor to either work through those challenges, or go without their stipend.”
The policy amendment will include a leave of absence of 21 business days. Councillors may be paid in relation to sick leave, mental health leave, ceremonial leave, and family obligations. The amendment states there is “no medical notice required” and leaves “shall not be determined as neglect of duties.”
The unpredictability of getting sick or the time needed to recover were important factors for this motion, and its passing will “allow some portion of the potential total of absence time to be paid,” said Gildersleve.
Vice-president events and student affairs Jess Dela Cruz agreed, stating many council members and executives have had to choose between working and taking a leave of absence. She explained many often choose the former because they cannot afford to miss out on payments.
Serena Bains, vice-president university and academic affairs stated her support for the motion. Bains mentioned the difficulty in paying rent if one takes more than a week of absence. She said, “As an executive or a non-executive councillor, the best way we do our work is if we are taking care of ourselves, and we have the appropriate capacity to do our work. So I think it’s really important that we all take care of ourselves and each other by supporting this motion.”
The motion passed with unanimous support.
Council agrees on Stadium Payment Schedule
Gildersleve brought forth the second amendment to the stadium payment schedule. The SFU Stadium Project was completed in Summer 2021. The stadium is partly paid for by the SFSS, and their payment plan is based on a predetermined schedule.
Gildersleve said the SFSS committed to contributing $10 million to the cost of the stadium. A payment schedule was finally set shortly thereafter.
Due to delays in the project, SFSS had to make multiple payments in a small period. This meant the payment schedule had to be amended in the past. SFSS was required to make another payment on November 15, 2021, which did not appear feasible due to COVID-19 and other restrictions which made their budget tight.
The SFSS asked for the November 15 payment to be cancelled, and the owed amount added to subsequent payments.
The motion passed unanimously.