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Executive Committee requested a review of benefits after discovering extravagant benefits predecessors received 

The University of Ottawa Students’ Union commissioners will have a new reduced “Executive Benefits Policy” after a review by UOSU’s Executive Oversight Committee.

The new policy is the result of a process that started back on May.11, 2020 when the current Executive Committee demanded that the “Executive Benefits Policy” be reviewed by the Executive Oversight Committee on that day’s Board of Directors meeting.

The old policy gave the 2019-20 Executive Committee a number of seemingly extravagant benefits such as two free courses at the University of Ottawa, a monthly mobile phone allowance of $100 as well as a health, dental, travel, accidental death, and dismemberment insurance plan. 

Under the old policy, commissioners who were not full-time students during their term were also given depending on their mode of transportation either a free parking permit or a free PRESTO Pass.

Jason Seguya, the 2019-20 UOSU Student Life commissioner, confirmed to the Fulcrum that in 2019-20 commissioners were eligible for the aforementioned benefits.

“When we [Executive Committee] took office back in May it came to our attention that the “Executive Benefits Policy” that was approved by the Transitional Board back in 2019-20 was the same as the SFUO’s old benefits policy,” said Tim Gulliver the UOSU’s advocacy commissioner to the Fulcrum. “The Transitional Board had to make a thousand decisions when they pretty much built the foundation of the UOSU but I think they got that one wrong and I think the last executive got it wrong by never going to the actual board [UOSU’s BOD] to get these benefits approved or reviewed.”

According to Gulliver who was a member of the UOSU’s BOD in 2019-2020, the previous “Executive Benefits Policy” was not published anywhere and he would of personally not supported it had it been brought to the BOD by the old executive.

“When we [Executive Committee] took office in May, we realized this policy would apply to us, we had a discussion about it and we chose to ask the Oversight Committee to look at the benefits and come back to us,” said Gulliver. “ We didn’t want to make a decision on our own benefits, we suspended the policy, asked them [Oversight Committee] to look through it and they came back to us in August proposing a drastically reduced policy.”    

The new policy the Executive Oversight Committee created lowered the 2019-20 benefits or eliminated them. 

The two free courses for all commissioners and free parking permits for commissioners were eliminated. 

The commissioners are now, however, entitled to a home Internet upgrade if necessary, this benefit was brought on due to COVID-19. As for mobile plan reimbursement, the benefit has been reduced and the policy reads as follows; 

“Each Executive [commissioner] shall be entitled to a limited reimbursement of their costs for mobile phone plans and home Internet only if they must upgrade, during their mandate, the service for which they are requesting reimbursement due to technological needs arising from their work as an Executive. The maximum amount allowed for reimbursement is $100.00 for a mobile phone plan, and $100.00 for home Internet”

Commissioners who are part-time students are still entitled to a PRESTO pass in the new benefits policy. The insurance plan remains the same.