The provisional YUSU budget for the next academic year has been finalised by YUSU Finance Committee. The budget includes a large increase in the Union Management allocation and cuts for JCRCs, the Athletic Union and the Academic and Welfare Service.
The document, which is £86,000 larger than this year’s, will be officially accepted by the University Finance Committee on Friday, and will be ultimately signed off by the YUSU Finance Committee on Monday 2nd June.
The total allocation includes a £401,242 budget for YUSU’s Central Services. This is a £90,000 increase since last May, and accounts for 44% of the overall expenditure.
All JCRCs will see their grants from YUSU shrink following a £1,000 overall reduction to £15,000. This, however, comes after a £4,000 bonus that was given to the JCRCs following surplus in the current budget.
Burton stated: “We are confident that members are still receiving good levels of funding and that in future years, as our commercial services grow and University funding increases, we will see increases through the Union.”
The JCRC grant reduction has been offset by the promised creation of a computer suite for the use of members of all JCRCs. The suite, which will be created to remove the need for each JCRC to have its own office computer was agreed upon by JCRC Treasurers.
Derwent JCRC Chair Oliver Lester said: “[The £1,000] isn’t exactly ‘cut’ from our budget. This wasn’t some decision by YUSU, it was voted in favour by all colleges.”
Lester has reservations, though, about the suite. “My opinion is that [it] would be highly underused, as it will have similar software to computers throughout campus. I think the main problem was that our treasurers had to vote on this issue within a week of being elected,” he said.
Alcuin JCRC Chair Erik O’Connor criticised the decision. “The IT suite is to a large extent an unnecessary expense, especially as it is to be used not only by JCRCs, but by societies… I have communicated this stance sufficiently in Finance Committee, but unfortunately a majority of that committee did not agree,” O’Connor said.
Also, the AU budget has been lowered by £10,000 to £125,878, while the new Academic and Welfare allocation is £57,722, a reduction of £13,500.
Administrative costs for the AU have been included in the Central Services expenditure. The creation of a Commercial Manager to oversee YUSU’s suite of businesses has also factored in the large increase for that department.
“[The position] has been budgeted to cover itself in the first year and we are aiming to diversify our commercial portfolio in order to generate more money for our activities,” Burton said.