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Updated on Thursday, November 6

#20055

OMG: This interesting piece (http://www.uwimprint.ca/article/4639-why-do-feds-full-time-staff-have) was published just the other day by Danielle Burt. It's a pretty common practice for Feds staff to come out as a collective during General Meetings to vote for their interests. Her comment,

"Finally if there are any concerns about staff having too much voting power within Feds, keep this in mind, we have approximately 27 full time staff members and approximately 27,000 undergraduate students",

although true, is entirely unfair. Feds staff are given time to go to a meeting involving the organization they WORK for while students still need to go to class, meetings and whatever else might be happening during the Meeting time. Additionally, they have more buy-in to Feds than the student body seems to have right now.

I feel that this comment really highlights Feds' (our elected officials especially) ignorance of the students they are supposed to represent.

18 comments

  1. Well, did YOU go to the meeting?

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  2. There were hundreds of students at previous meetings, clearly showing that enough students CAN attend them.

    Also, with respect to giving students a chance to attend because they are so busy, do you have a better solution?

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  3. 27 people paid to attend, but 27,000 undergraduates with all different schedules... I was barely an amateur in Stats but even I know the odds are most definitely in the students' favour.

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  4. 27,00 students were not in class during the meeting. I'd wager at least 10,000 could have attended if they had so chosen to.

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  5. It's a basic principle in democratic membership-based organizations that staff whonwork for the members do not have voting rights or the same rights as the members. The members are supposed to decide and the staff implement those decisions. No union, staff association, faculty association have staff that can vote. Here's a question: can u find another student union in the country where staff can vote?

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    1. Last I checked, public servants can vote in elections.

      "Can you find another student union in the country where staff can vote?"

      Sure. Most of them - it's the norm, at least in Ontario. But let's go with Laurier, just for argument's sake.

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  6. I think it makes sense for staff to vote at General Meetings:

    ->As the bureaucratic core of the organization, they represent the vote for organizational stability.
    ->They know Feds better than anyone. It makes sense to allow the experts to have decision-making power.
    ->Decisions made at the General Meeting directly impact their day-to-day well being as employees of the organization.
    ->Burt is right - giving them *some* buy-in keeps them interested in and engaged by the organization. It also provides a sense of job security that makes it easier to hold on to staff.
    ->If an issue is particularly important to students, it's not hard to outvote the staff, since there aren't many of them.

    THAT SAID, I DO NOT think Staff should get a vote in the Feds elections. When we vote in elections, we are selecting OUR representative. It is not the executives' job to represent the staff, it's their job to represent the students whilst acting in the best interests of Feds. So they should have that vote taken away.

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    1. Wait, so are for this or against this, or just bipolar?

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    2. 6a, I'm FOR them having a vote at General Meetings, but I'm AGAINST them having a vote in the annual elections. Those two things are not equivalent, and we should stop treating them as though they are.

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    3. The "staff know best" mentality is probably one of the main things contributing to Feds' shittiness and inability to adapt to anything that happens on campus.

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    4. Staff don't necessarily know best. Nor is the 'best' outcome necessarily the one they will vote for. They will vote for stability and job security. This stability helps Feds:

      1) Avoid lawsuits as a direct outcome of a General Meeting;
      2) Prevent the Feds staff from unionizing (can you imagine the NIGHTMARE that would cause);
      3) Keep Feds staff positions attractive enough that reasonably qualified people actually apply for them, AND stay in those roles once hired.

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  7. Meh. There are things that bother me about Feds, and currently this isn't one of them.

    I'm more worried about the way Feds wastes our money. For example - ridiculous amounts of our student fees pay for conferences. Did you know that two Feds staff members flew to Florida this week? Spent 4 or 5 days dicking around Disney with some occasional socializing at a conference, all on student dollars. And they didn't even bring any students!

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    1. Wow. You are so grossly misinformed. Please check your facts before spewing.

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    2. "Professional Development" costs in the budget. AKA, enjoy your free vacation, bought and paid for by students who can't afford trips for themselves.

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    3. Could we at least make the staff work a proper 40 hours per week like the rest of the working world? And maybe introduce regular performance evaluations?

      IRL, if you aren't pulling your weight and getting real results, you get fired. In Feds, you create busywork for yourself, use that busywork to make excuses, and then sit on your paycheck made of money taken from students.

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    4. Yeah... Feds is going to lose $15000 in annual revenue because of the 'no more BMO in the SLC' thing. Why should that mean they have to cut service to make up the loss?

      They should just pick the lowest-performing staff member, and cut them. There's $30000 freed up right there. Now that money can be used to actually IMPROVE service!

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  8. 7c, I don't know where to begin...

    If you want staff to work 40 hours/week, then you have to pay them 40hrs/week. And many organizations work 35 or 37.5 hrs "IRL" as well.

    Every single feds staff member is evaluated by the gm and their respective exec, every single year. Not to mention regular meetings with said exec throughout the year.

    And feds has fired staff members recently for not pulling their wait.

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  9. If nothing else, the misinformed posts and comments on this site result in informed people giving some pretty solid defences of Feds. I didn't think much of them before, but some of those defences have gone a long way towards justifying their existence, IMO.

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