Ayanda Mngoma, CFRC’s business manager, was fired from his position on Tuesday without notice.
The decision came following the AMS Board of Directors restructure of the radio station’s budget for the 2012-13 year, resulting in an expected $10,000 decrease in budget expenses after Mngoma’s termination.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed last April between the AMS and Radio Queen’s University, CFRC’s license holder, stipulates CFRC’s gradual transition into a financially autonomous service from the AMS by 2014.
The agreement includes a deficit coverage of $8,000 provided for by the AMS for the 2012-13 year. CFRC is budgeted to incur a deficit of $18,917.
Mngoma said he was told to meet with AMS Vice President of Operations Tristan Lee and AMS Media Services Director Terra Arnone on Tuesday at 2 p.m. He said he wasn’t told what would be discussed at the meeting.
He allegedly received a phone call from Lee around 1:45 p.m. telling him to bring his keys to the meeting. There, Mngoma said he was told his position had been dissolved and his contract terminated without cause.
“There was no forewarning or foreshadowing in any way that my position was going to be cut,” he said.
The Business Manager position, which required a minimum of 30 hours per week, will be replaced by a Sponsorship and Outreach Manager position, a volunteer position which receives an honoraria and 40 per cent commission on advertisement sales. Mngoma said he wouldn’t take the position after it was offered to him.
The dissolution of his position will negatively affect CFRC’s transition as a financially independent radio station come 2014, he said.
“I worry about having something so crucial be left to the hands of a volunteer who will only be working 15 hours a week,” he said. “There’s not a lot of support to do the day-to-day operations at CFRC at its current level and to provide all of the things CFRC provides to the community but also to the students.”
According to the station’s operations officer, CFRC’s advisory board wasn’t consulted prior to Mngoma’s termination.
Rob Gamble, chair of the AMS Board of Directors, said that according to AMS bylaws, consultation with CFRC stakeholders “was not necessary” and the station’s finances and operations are under the direct purview of the AMS Board of Directors.
“The AMS Board of Directors did not consult CFRC specifically on this matter,” Gamble told the Journal via email.
In a report released Wednesday on the AMS website, Gamble said the Board rejected CFRC’s proposed budget outline because it would have left the station with only $4,000 of a $15,000 grant provided for by the AMS last year. The grant intended to provide additional deficit coverage until its separation in 2014.
“CFRC’s proposed budget, with a deficit of $18,917, would have left the station with $4,000 of that transitional grant funding,” the report said. “The AMS Board of Directors was concerned by this prospect and its long-term implications for the station.”
According to Kristiana Clemens, CFRC’s operations officer, the station sent a letter and multiple emails to the AMS Board asking to negotiate an appropriate budget model after their budget proposal was rejected in August.
“We submitted a letter to them [in response] on Aug. 20 and they did not give any response until Ayanda got called into the private meetings on Oct. 2,” she said. “That’s just irresponsible.”
“The lost revenue is estimated $7,000 at a minimum in lost cash revenue and in-kind promotional services and that’s immediately,” she said.
“We don’t know what stage they’re at currently, since he was fired immediately without any transitioning.”
– With files from Holly Tousignant
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