UMSU releases 2019-20 draft budget

Additional funding allocated to leaving Canadian Federation of Students, new HR position

Cuts to printing services and additional funding for marketing are some of the more prominent changes to this year’s UMSU budget, which was introduced at a board meeting last week.

The draft budget, which was uploaded online Monday, marks a net increase of $38,000 — from $1,850,000 to $1,888,000 — much of which UMSU vice-president finance and operations Mbuli Matshe said will be allotted to marketing and possible legal fees surrounding the current process of removing the union from the Canadian Federation of Students.

UMSU set aside $30,000 in its budget for a marketing campaign toward leaving the Canadian Federation of Students — part of which is going to projects like the current “Demand Better” campaign, which seeks opinions from students on where money being spent on membership with the federation could be used elsewhere.

In November, the executive recommended UMSU leave the federation in favour of joining the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA).

“In the past, when unions defederate from the [Canadian Federation of Students], they get sued,” he said.

“So we added legal there, as well as marketing [fees] that were increased for promotional items.”

One place where the operations budget had over-extended its projections last year was the digital print and design centre, which had been allotted $83,000 last year and has since had its budget halved to $41,000.

“That’s just because the climate is changing in terms of paper, and what that looks like moving forward,” he said.

“I think this year the budget will be more reflective of what we’re trying to achieve.”

Participatory budgeting services, a project that began with the current executive, received a $10,000 increase, meant to introduce the program to the Bannatyne campus.

UMSU president Jakob Sanderson said he is particularly excited about additional funding for the student research jobs program in the budget.

“That will allow students to earn a wage from UMSU while shaping our advocacy priorities with work on any issue they’re passionate about,” Sanderson said.

Additional funding for UMSU centennial celebrations was also included in the budget — both centennial funding and Frosh fest were allotted $50,000 each.

“We are very excited about our programming for our centennial year, including an expanded Frosh music festival and some really exciting speakers for fall 2019,” Sanderson said.

Another new addition to the budget this year is a new hire — a human resources position that will work within UMSU.

Matshe noted that the not-for-profit organization employs more than 200 part-time and 30 full-time employees, saying, “We need a human resources entity.”