New Sabbs in place of Non-Sabbs
The Student Council has overwhelmingly voted in favour of scrapping non-sabbatical officers and creating two new paid sabbatical roles for the student union. This will bring the total number of full time paid sabbatical officers to seven in time for elections in March.
The portfolio’s of the ‘non-sabbs’ will be transferred into six ‘vice-president’ (VP) sabbatical roles under the Union President. Along with the two new roles of ‘VP Community’ and ‘VP Equality and Diversity’, the role of Deputy President will be scrapped in favour of a ‘VP for Campaigns and Communications’ to better clarify the role.
According to the report recommending the changes, the two new positions will cost “in the region of £31-32k”, bringing the total salary of the union executive to approximately £110,000. The ‘Report from student officer review sub-group’ states: “It is estimated that the Students’ Union will have adequate funds in its budget to cover this cost. In the event that this is not the case, an assurance has been given from the Director of Student Plus that funding will be drawn from Student Plus Reserves.” Translated: Queen’s University will pay.
The recommendations from the report stimulated much debate at the council meeting of February 11th before finally being adopted. A number of councillors addressed their council colleagues urging caution against any rash ‘rubber stamping’ for the sake of it. The cost of paying seven officers weighed heavily in arguments against the adopting of the recommendations in the report. However their pleas proved in vain as a large majority of councillors finally backed the motion of scrapping ‘non-sabbs’ and creating the new posts.