Campus News in Brief: Sabbaticals’ pay rise; new Union Constitution; SU shops record €115,000 profit in 2017

UCD Students’ Union sabbaticals saw 20% pay rise in 2016/2017Financial statements obtained by the University Observer show that remuneration for the President of UCD Students’ Union rose from €20,480 to €24,520 between the sabbatical terms 2015/16 and 2016/17, representing a near 20% jump.Salaries for elected Students’ Union Officers were less than €21,000 between the years 2012/13 to 2015/16. All sabbatical officers, including the Union President, receive equal pay.The documents show that UCD Students’ Union Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) held €212,508 in cash and bank balances for the year ended 30th June 2017. The statements also indicate that €55 was owed to UCDSU CLG by its subsidiary commercial arm.The number of staff working for the University Observer was again misstated in the statements. In April of this year, it was reported that the Union’s financial statements did not accurately account for the total number of paid University Observer staff. In 2016 and 2017, the Union’s financial statements implied that there was a single salaried position within the University Observer, when there are 3. The University Observer is funded through the Students’ Union and is granted editorial independence in the Union’s constitution.The financial statements were signed off by former-UCDSU President Feargal Hynes on 3rd May 2018. Hynes resigned from the board of directors after 4 years on 5th June 2018, one month after former-UCDSU President Marcus O’Halloran did the same. O’Halloran had been a director for almost 3 years.Under the Union’s constitution, the board of directors of UCD Students’ Union CLG is composed of the incumbent president and at least one former president, with at least four and no more than eight other members. Current members of the board include former Union President Conor Viscardi (2016/17), former-Campaigns & Communications Officer Ciara Reilly (2007/08), former Welfare Officer Maeve Desay (2014/15), Labour Party spokesperson and former-Senator Aideen Hayden and former UCDSU Welfare Officer Shane Hennelly (2004/05). New UCDSU constitution in deliberative processThe first draft of a new UCDSU constitution will be finalised at a meeting at the end of September, according to the Union’s press officer. The draft will be presented to the Union Executive by the end of October and will enter a consultation period in which the Executive and a review committee will discuss and make amendments. The Union plans to present the draft constitution to the Council on 19th November, after which there will be another consultation period between the Council and the committee. The new constitution, which will be voted on by the student body alongside the Executive elections in March 2019, will come into effect for the 2019/2020 academic year.Union shops recorded almost €115,000 profit in 2017Profits at UCDSU Commercial Services Ltd (UCDSU-CS) fell by more than €25,000 between 2016 and 2017, financial statements for the company show. The company is the Union’s commercial arm and runs the three Union shops on Belfield campus.Statements show that UCDSU shops paid out €548,367 in wages and salaries over the course of the year ending 30th June 2017, an increase of €58,513 on the previous year, while social welfare and pension costs amounted to €54,065 and €13,752 respectively. UCDSU-CS had 34 retail staff in 2016, as shown by company records.The statements also show that a new licence agreement for one of the three Union shops was being negotiated. The statements were signed by former-director and ex-UCDSU President Feargal Hynes and interim chair of the board of directors Ciara Reilly.