The upcoming remuneration review should focus on limiting undue burden on AMS salaried student positions.
Earliest this term, the AMS Board of Directors proposed the review to conduct a comprehensive examination of salaries and job descriptions in the AMS.
Many of these positions require students to work past their basic job description.
In return, they earn close to minimum wage — a small sum per hour given the amount of overtime put in.
It’s also undeniable that the sum these employees earn is far lower from what other student government staff earn elsewhere.
At McMaster, for example, some student leaders earn between $33,000 to $36,000 a year — about $10,000 more than the highest paid positions at the AMS.
McMaster, admittedly, is a larger school, with more students paying the essential student fee going to the salaries of student executives. This kind of discrepancy puts AMS salaries in perspective.
The AMS-specific student fee at Queen’s, currently $70.18, is designated in part to pay the salaries of AMS.
In 2009, Queen’s passed an incremental $120 student fee hike spread over three years for the Athletics Centre. It seems ironic that we’re willing to have our student leaders receive minimal pay while other, more luxurious ventures take a leading focus.
Although the reality is that Queen’s has a smaller population, limiting the possibility of raising the fee, it’s worth revisiting our priorities.
Unlike other student government representatives, AMS staff have to take courses on top of their existing duties. This cuts into their already menial salaries.
Even though their pay is low, most students are unaware. The numbers are lost in translation as they aren’t directly communicated to the student body. While the budget is available on the AMS website, it doesn’t differentiate specific amounts for individual salaries. Students deserve to know the exact numbers, especially given that they’re paying them through their student fees.
It’s unlikely that anyone works for the AMS expecting to get rich — it’s a drive for earning valuable experience and a passion for serving students that leads most individuals to pursue these low-paying positions.
When conducting this review, the Personnel Committee should take the financial concerns of these students into consideration.
— Journal Editorial Board
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