Community groups shut out

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By Aleysha Haniff

Associate News Editor

Jesse Trautmann is overworked and underpaid.e

This year marks his third, and last stint as RyePRIDE’s co-ordinator. Paid for only 15 hours a week at $10 an hour, he has put in overtime managing volunteers, planning events, organizing educational campaigns, and collaborating with Ryerson and the greater community.

“For the job, what we do, what the job entitles, it’s just worth more compensation,” he said.

His frustration holds true for the other Ryerson Students’ Union community service groups.

Trautmann said his position, like the other community service group co-ordinators, remains one of the lowest paid work-study jobs on campus.

And despite his experience, Trautmann hasn’t seen any raises from the RSU.

“I was never told otherwise that my performance was poor. Last year, if my performance was sub-par that didn’t deserve a seniority increase wage if I was ever to be rehired, why was I rehired not only once but twice again?” he said.

After large events like their Fruit Explosion pub nights, Trautmann and the other RyePRIDE co-ordinators are ordered to close their doors for almost a week, he said.

Trautmann said that they’re told to take time off rather than be paid for additional hours over their 15 week.

“This is where it causes the problem because we’re here to provide a service to the students, right?” he said.

Ryerson’s community service groups out against their working conditions at the Ryerson Students’ Union board of directors meeting last Tuesday.

The week before the meeting, they presented the RSU with a letter outlining the collective problems faced by RyePRIDE, the Women’s Centre, the Working Students’ Centre, Rye-ACCESS, and the Community Food Room.

The letter described the systemic issues with unpaid working hours, low wages, and confusion about wage increases for returning part-time employees.

On March 4, Gareth Henry resigned from his position as RSU equity and campaigns organizer.

In an email from Henry obtained by the Eyeopener, he wrote it seemed impossible to work in a healthy, supportive environment at Ryerson.

“It is one thing for the RSU to speak about an inclusive work environment, free from harassment and discrimination, but clearly they do not have the integrity to create such an environment,” he said in the email.

Toby Whitfield, vice-president finance and services, currently supervises the community service groups.

As of press time, Whitfield refused to comment.

He’s working with Rebecca Rose, vice-president education, who previously worked for the Women’s Centre and the Working Students’ Centre.

“I was actually kind of surprised that I wasn’t approached before [the letter was presented],” she said.

She acknowledges that the seniority wage increase system needs revision, noting that she’s meeting with the community service groups to discuss all the problems presented in their letter.

“It [the wage policy] was kind of put together in a patchwork way to address immediate concerns,” she said.


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