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September 6, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Eye on Exec

Welcome back. Hope you’ve recovered enough from whatever state of unreality or active denial you were living in for the past two weeks to focus on the next few hundred words or so. An exec meeting occurs (on average) every fortnight, so what follows this week is the summation of two distinct meetings which I’ve stitched together based on related issues. Sit tight.

The meeting on Wednesday 18 August was mercifully short, clocking in at just under half an hour. It’s worth pointing out that this is slightly shorter than the report Max Hardy gave at the previous meeting detailing his past six months of work alone.

It was also notable for being the first meeting held since the 2010 VUWSA by-election. Despite this, as of the meeting on 1 September, Paul Zhong still hasn’t showed in his capacity as newly-elected International Officer. Three consecutive absences without apology will result in an “assumption of resignation”. Oh dear.

That being said, both Richard Carr and Tom Reed (Administration Vice-President and Queer Officer respectively) managed to make it to their first meeting; Richard even submitting a work report without needing to. Work reports as a whole were pretty good. Most managed to submit them the next meeting, except for James Sleep and Masha Kupriyenko, who gave verbal reports. James’ written report was still on his work computer, which is a fair excuse considering he works in North Korea where email access is a privilege reserved for only Inner Party members.

A proposal for a review of VUWSA Representation was discussed during the 18 August meeting, and put forward on 1 September. The review panel will consist of three or four VUWSA exec members, appointed by the executive, and up to six other members appointed by the exec on recommendation of the panel. These further six members can be representatives from Rep Groups, VUWSA staff, clubs, VUWSA Trust, or external to VUWSA entirely. The panel is intended to recommend ways of “enhancing communication amongst all student representatives and representative groups”, and improve voter turn-out and meeting procedures. This has far-reaching consequences for the future of the organisation, especially with the threat of VSM which will no doubt be considered by the panel.

The 1 September meeting appointed an election committee of Nick Kelly, Robert Whitaker, and Fleur Fitzsimons. Dates for the election were proposed between Thursday 30 September through until Thursday 7 October. Nominations will be opening on Thursday 9 September.

Zach Dorner (Environmental Officer) pointed out that publicity for previous elections has been less than spectacular. Hardy and Caitlin Dunham (Women’s Rights Officer) suggested that members of the executive speak to lectures to encourage students to vote and be nominated. It was also recommended that the Returning Officer play a more active role in the promotion of the elections.

Central to the last two meetings was discussion of the temporary move of the VUWSA offices to an interim location, and the forest of boners that cropped up during it. The intention was to relocate to the IT suite on the ground floor of the Student Union building for the duration of the office upgrade. Unfortunately, despite the Association Manager’s insistence to the contrary, the computers still haven’t been connected to the VUWSA internal network, preventing any sort of meaningful communication. Whoops.

Education Officer Sleep tabled two motions regarding proposed changes to employment law. Sleep, who was a speaker at a public demonstration against the changes earlier in the month, moved that no future VUWSA employee be subject to a 90 day “trial period”. Under the proposed law change, the ability to fire staff within 90 days of their employment would be extended to all businesses. Current legislation constrains this ability to businesses of 19 or fewer employees.

This movement was passed unanimously. The issue arose with Sleep’s second motion, that VUWSA make a submission on the bill that the government has put forward, outlining the benefits of “fair and decent” employment practices. Sleep’s argument was that the proposed law changes go against VUWSA’s employment standards and role as an advocate for students, especially considering their role as future workers. The counterpoint (presented by most other members of the executive) was that VUWSA is seen in the public arena as predominantly a service provider for students, NOT an employer. On that basis, the consensus was that it was inappropriate to make a submission on behalf of VUWSA without consultation of the student body. The motion lapsed, and Sleep finally stopped talking over the top of Hardy.

Will VUWSA make a submission on the greatest change to employment law since the union-crushing laws of 1991? Will they move into their new office before construction workers tear the walls down around them? Will James finally submit a written work report? Will I slam my balls in my desk drawer until a blood clot forms which moves to my brain rather than sit through another four hours of meetings for you guys?

You’ll have to tune back in to Eye On Exec to find out.

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About the Author ()

Lewis has been playing videogames since his family's PC Direct "workstation" in early 1996. He spends his spare time reading political blogs, working and welcoming complaints and suggestions.

Comments (4)

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  1. Crusher says:

    Didn’t every single staff member at VUWSA get made redundant in 2009? Can’t see how a receptionist can be made redundant…

  2. Keegan says:

    I would rather hear from my lecturer in my lectures than from VUWSA about elections. On a brighter note, it’s good to see VUWSA won’t be making a submission on the 90 days bill. Perhaps they would be even more successful if they didn’t advocate for anything, ever.

  3. Mikey says:

    Go for the balls, Lewis.

  4. 2 cents worth says:

    It’s a travesty that VUWSA will not be making a submission on the 90 day bill. Over the past few years they’ve stood up and against some fairly big issues.

    Did everybody get sacked at VUWSA last year? Hopefully the leadership this time around will not take its lead from our current crop of mps in central govt!

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