A petition to replace the leadership of the University of Victoria Students’ Society was brought before the board this past Monday. It was hoped that a motion to remove the board would have been placed on the agenda for an upcoming Annual General Meeting. The petition, signed by five per cent of the student body is in response to what critics say is the UVSS’s inability to bring its striking employees back to work.
However, Only six UVSS board members showed up to the meeting. The quorum required to put a motion on the AGM agenda is 11. Because the motion was moved by students, as far as I can tell, the board would have had no choice but to put it before students at the AGM.
The petition was brought by José Barrios, one of the striking workers. According to the Marlet: UVSS chair Caitlin Meggs “said most members were absent with regrets, while some didn’t show out of protest, thinking Barrios is trying to manipulate them.”
The Martlet also reports that the United Steelworkers Union has started to provide strike pay to picketing workers, and due to the fact that many of the striking workers are part-time, strike pay could be a major incentive to stay off the job.
For student workers who earned $9.95 per hour working inside the building before the strike, the strike pay is equivalent to working 15 hours — more hours than what many logged in a week.
This could be seen as incentive for the workers to keep holding on for the $1.50 raise they’re striking for. But, there are more than just student workers on the line.
Full-time employees of the building who earned $15.85 to $20.85 are also on the picket — and $150 doesn’t come close to their regular paycheque.