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Council gives CSU execs bonuses back

by Archives May 2, 2001
At the last Council of Representatives meeting, a motion was passed that will restore the bonuses of the executives of the Concordia Student Union (CSU).
But some argue that the executives should not receive the bonuses in light of a massive fraud in 2000-2001 and cuts to clubs and associations.
“I think every single one of the executives that are here today put in an insane amount of work,” said Rob Green, President of the CSU, during the meeting. “The amount of work is inhumane and it is reasonable to restore the bonuses.”
The motion was presented by Green on May 9 and stated that the bonuses be issued to the executive’s final paycheck. According to Patrice Blais, the CSU’s vp of finance, the monetary value of the bonus to be awarded to the six executives, is $2,500 each, totaling $15,000.
CSU Arts and Science councillor Rick Filippone criticizes the CSU for restoring the bonuses because of the embezzlement of nearly $200,000 that was uncovered in October 2000. “I can’t believe the CSU has the daring to restore the bonuses after the fraud that took place,” he said. “They want to be rewarded for their negligence.”
Filippone did not attend the meeting, explaining he did not have enough support to defeat the motion.
Green said that just because the CSU was victim to a fraud that does mean that the hard work of executives should not be rewarded. Green went on to add that no previous CSU executive had accomplished as much as his executive did.
“We were the first student union in Canada to kick Zoom Media off campus, freeze the administration fee and start the People’s Potato which feeds hundreds of students. There has been no previous student union that accomplished as much as we did,” added Green.
According to the motion, “the financial difficulties have been mitigated by an increase in revenues coming to the CSU as of next year.” The document goes on to state that the increase in revenues result directly from the hard work of the executives in the campaigning and winning both the accreditation drives and the fee referendum.
The above, according to Filippone, does not give the CSU executives the right to have their bonuses restored.
He said that the increased revenue is for the 2001/2002 budget and that the CSU still must pay back a $500,000 loan they took out.
Blais said that the bonus was coming from next year’s budget, but he added that next year’s budget would be paying for this year’s deficit.
However, during the Council meeting, Tom Keefer, vp communications, justified the restoration of the bonuses because the executives worked hard and are the lowest paid workers.
He estimated that with their bonuses their pay comes to around $4 an hour.
The motion acknowledged the fraud and stated that in spite of it, the 2000-2001 executives proved to be, “the hardest working executive the Union has ever seen.”
Green added that he had an executive that was willing to work extremely long hours, often sacrificing their evenings and weekends in order to advance the student interest.
Filippone said despite the hard work of the executives, money was lost and as a result academic and non-academic associations were forced to slash their budgets. “How can they find the money to restore their bonuses after so many cuts had to be made?” Filippone asked.

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