In a press release sent out this afternoon by President Ruolin (Irene) Ma, the USU have announced that they will be increasing staff working hours to 80%. As of the writing of this article, the change has already come into effect.
Ma has attributed the USU’s ability to restore staff hours to the growth in campus activity in Semester 2, and an increased level of profitability from outlets.
Acting CEO Jess Reed said, “The management team and I would like to thank the staff for the many sacrifices they have made, along with their unwavering loyalty to the USU that they have demonstrated and continue to so during these extremely difficult times.”
Ma echoed Reed’s statements, saying, “Were it not for [the staff’s] commitment to the USU and ongoing contributions to our cause, we may not be in the situation we are in today.”
The decision follows an increase in staff hours from 40% to 60% earlier in September.
The USU controversially cut staff hours to 60% in May, with a further cut in late July to only 40%. Neither of these aforementioned cuts were conducted in consultation with staff, with many finding out only after a Board vote had already been conducted.
The USU has also come under fire this year for its lack of transparency and obscuration of Board vote breakdowns through private, in-camera meetings. While Board members have committed to a transparency review in August, in the two months since there has not been any clarification of the timeline or form this will take.
More to come.