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September 4, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Truce Between Union and VUWSA Declared

The University Council will today sign off on an agreement which will effectively end the long running dispute over the Union Building.

Eight months of negotiation between several entities have produced two documents. The first is a ‘Deed of Strategic Partnership’ between VUWSA, the VUWSA Trust and the University. The deed sets up a Joint Student Union Board made up of representatives of all three parties to oversee the running of the building.

A ‘Strategic Partnership Operating Agreement’ between the University and VUWSA gives a more detailed outline of the responsibilities of the Board, and how it will carry out those responsibilities. While the day-to-day running of the building and facilities will remain in the hands of Union Manager Rainsforth Dix, the Board will oversee the implementation of the annual operating plan.

As part of the agreement, VUWSA will give up any claim to ownership of the Building, but its continued occupancy is virtually guaranteed, and it will have to contribute to the building’s upkeep. In 2007, VUWSA will be required to pay $175,000, as well as being responsible for 50% of any deficit.

Chairperson of the previous Union Board Dave Guerin says the $175,000 figure “will change, I imagine” in future years. Whether it would rise or fall was dependent on a number of factors. VUWSA President Nick Kelly says although he is pleased that VUWSA received a “decent governance role” in the running of the building, there is a lot more work to be done on consultation. However, he is confident that students will begin to see the changes and improvements to services within the next few years.

Guerin expects there to still be the occasional disagreement between VUWSA and the Union, but says the “underlying issue” has been dealt with with the agreement. Former VUWSA President Jeremy Greenbrook was not so optimistic, however, saying that he was glad a disputes resolution process was written into the agreement.

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About the Author ()

Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

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