The controversial proposal to split the role of Deputy President (Education and Welfare) into two new Sabbatical Positions was discussed at Union Exec on Thursday Evening. The discussions followed the submission of an ill-fated paper to Union Council before Christmas which was voted down with a clear message from Councillor's that more rigorous planning, consultation and detail was needed before such a fundamental change would be waved through.
One of the main concerns with the paper was a lack of financial planning. Since the start of the new term the proposals were taken to the Trustee Board for financial advice and to the Executive Committee who have authority to make financial decisions and get to see a regular overview of the Unions Accounts. The Trustee Board would not comment on the content of the proposal but advised the Sabbatical Officers to get written confirmation from the College that they would provide 'sustainable funding' before committing to creating a new position. Ram Gidoomal, the Chair of the Trustee Board, also agreed to approve the changes via email should they go through at Monday's Council meaning the Trustee Board will not have to reconvene over the matter. Should the changes be approved, the paper will be taken to the next College Council Meeting and could potentially be included in the Sabbatical Elections for next academic year.
ACC Chair and Executive Committee Member, Sam Furse, told Live! that Exec had been used as a general 'sounding board' to discuss the paper that had originally gone to Council. In general, all the senior officers now appear to be in agreement that a new position is necessary. A few amendments have been submitted to the paper but Mr. Furse said that "there are no landslide changes".
Quizzing Mr. Furse as to the financial position of the Union with regards to paying another Sabbatical salary he asserted that there would be "adequate provision" adding that "as someone that is 99.9% clubs and societies focussed I am happy that the money is not going to be taken away from clubs and societies." Mr Furse did not give any details about this 'adequate provision' saying that he was unable to comment any further at this time. Sources within the Union have told Live! that there is no money available within the current staffing budget leading this reporter to hope that either the confirmation from the College has been secured or the Union is hiding a money tree.
Mr Furse went on to say that the new paper will be "a significant step forward on it's previous incarnation and has a much greater chance of success." Given that Exec (mostly made up of the Councillors who were annoyed at the lack of preparation or discussion before the last meeting) are the only ones to have been invited to join in the debate before a resubmission, Live! has a tendency to agree with the illustrious CSC Chair. Not much would fail to get through a Union Council meeting after a little bit of ego massaging!