AMS conducts survey to harmonize honoraria

Committee will evaluate job descriptions to determine fairness of volunteers’ pay scale

The AMS is trying to harmonize the honoraria it pays its volunteers.

“Our aim is to ensure honoraria are completely fair, and to ensure that everyone’s receiving an adequate amount for their responsibility,” said Gillian Wheatley, AMS media services director. Wheatley is heading the honoraria review.

“Many positions haven’t been reviewed in years, so we can’t ensure that everyone is on an even playing field.”

Wheatley is having AMS volunteers and their supervisors fill out questionnaires to compare factors such as required office hours and community impact.

After surveys are complete, a management committee from the Board of Directors will take the data and weigh the different factors assessed on the survey to determine how to fairly distribute honoraria.

The management committee will be made up of the three service directors, general manager Claude Sherren, human resources officer Kristin Boysen, one non-student director, two student directors and one community member. Vice-President (Operations) John Manning will chair the committee.

“We’re hoping to get the results organized by December,” Wheatley said.

AMS volunteers include staff at the Journal, Studio Q, CFRC, Yearbook and Convocation Services and the Food Bank. AMS commissions also have volunteers.

AMS salaries are determined using a grid to compare hours worked. Wheatley said she wants to create a similar grid to determine honoraria.

The review is important to ensure equality and transparency between services, she said.

“We’ve never had the information present before, so that will already be a major accomplishment.

“And that’s important so that individuals can see things across the board. We don’t want one certain service or commission to be lagging behind.” Wheatley, along with Campus Activities Commissioner Caroline DuWors, one-year student director Josh Workman, and two-year student director David Kelusky, prepared the questionnaires, which have been distributed to services this week.

The surveys ask supervisors to rank volunteers on criteria such as autonomy, frequency of project deadlines, number of hours worked, quality and impact of tasks and size of projects and portfolios. Wheatley said it may be difficult to actually put the survey’s findings into action. “There are so many different positions and different types of work that aren’t always easy to compare. There’s always the possibility that the document will simply end up in AMS files in five years time.”

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