AMS setting standardized honoraria grid

Payment for AMS volunteers focuses on hours required per job

AMS Media Services Director Gillian Wheatley says the honoraria grid will be reviewed yearly.
AMS Media Services Director Gillian Wheatley says the honoraria grid will be reviewed yearly.
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AMS Board of Directors will vote on a standardized honoraria grid next Thursday, April 3.

The AMS pays honoraria as compensation to all its volunteers

The honoraria review, conducted by an ad hoc committee of the Board of Directors’ Management Committee, has been in progress since November.

AMS Media Services Director Gillian Wheatley, Campus Activities Commissioner Caroline DuWors, one-year student director Josh Workman and two-year student director David Kelusky distributed a survey to volunteers at services and commissions.

Two people filled out the survey for each volunteer position—the volunteers and their supervisors. Wheatley said each honorarium should depend on the position’s job description, regardless of an individual’s performance.

“It should be the minimum hours required to do the job. … It should be much more objective,” she said, adding that she hopes the AMS will be able to find trends the next time they send surveys around.

The survey tallied the average hours each volunteer dedicates to the job, the effect they have outside of the AMS, their impact on co-volunteers, the frequency of deadlines and the quality of the work.

“One of the main concepts that most of the things were determined by was hours required for the job,” Wheatley said. “We decided to give more weight to that than anything else.”

While 22 positions will see increased honoraria next year, honoraria for nine positions were slashed.

The honorarium for the Foodbank Manager position will go down by 75 per cent, from $4,000 to $1,000. Wheatley said the position is being transferred to the Social Issues Commission (SIC) where a number of committees—such as the Meal Exchange committee, which organized the Trick or Eat campaign at Halloween—will be able to help the manager. She said the move will also improve communication between the SIC and the Foodbank Head Manager.

The honorarium for QTV content manager increased 285 per cent. Wheatley said the service hasn’t been reviewed in a while and the job description has grown over the last couple of years.

“They just do so much work,” Wheatley said, adding that the position will need to be reviewed again next year.

She said based on the results of the review, the QTV executive director position will now be salaried rather than given an honorarium.

Before this year, each service and commission set its honoraria internally, Wheatley said.

“That’s why you got some of the disparities.”

She said the review has already passed with the Board of Directors Management Committee and it should have no problem passing with the Board of Directors next Thursday.

“We tried to talk to as many people as possible about this to get everybody on the same page so it should hopefully work out,” she said.

“I think it was just really necessary to do and hopefully it’ll be reviewed annually.”

Wheatley said it took a long time to complete because the honoraria grid is meant to be a sustainable document.

“It’s not just that we hope we’ve done a good job this year. … We hope next year it will change and grow and it will be a consistent, living document,” she said. “Getting everybody on the same page was really sort of the paramount goal, just to make sure that everybody’s getting … fair compensation.”

The AMS will distribute the survey again in two years, Wheatley said, but the same process used to review salaries will be conducted annually for honoraria.

To see a draft version of the honoraria grid, go to queensjournal.ca.

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