The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) national council today mandated President Lorna Fitzpatrick to compile a standard wage report for Sabbatical Officers of students’ unions and the USI.
The report will allow students’ unions “to see how we’re doing and compare it so that we know that we are being paid right for the work that we do”, said Pádraic Toomey, president of NUIG Students’ Union, when he proposed the motion.
Lorna Fitzpatrick challenged the motion, saying that the USI’s comparative research manual – mandated last year to provide “statistics and figures from other member organisations to strengthen their arguments on a number of issues” to students’ unions – already included information related to the wages of sabbatical officers.
However, proponents of today’s motion insisted that this document was incomplete.
Luke Daly, deputy president of Technological University of Dublin Students’ Union, said that a wage report would allow USI to fill in the gaps left by the comparative research manual, saying: “I think that if we gave another shot to this that if we could all collectively pull together and be one really, really big team we could get substantive figures.”
Daly added that a report comparing the wages earned by students’ union sabbatical officers could help to “get everyone off of the pittance that the national movement earns at the moment and actually get us on to a decent wage”.
President of Athlone Institute of Technology Students’ Union Áine Daly supported the motion. “I really believe in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay”, she said.
The mandate will last until USI’s next congress.
Earlier today, USI national council also mandated Vice President for Academic Affairs Kevin McStravock to carry out research into repeat exams fees in Irish colleges and how they affect students.