The Student Government Association (SGA) updated its pay scale following a week of postponed discussions. The Senate introduced an act to establish a stipend for SGA officers on Feb. 4 that was withdrawn until the Feb. 11 meeting.
The act proposed on Feb. 4 planned to revert the SGA president and executive vice president’s stipends to the amount allocated in 2019. Returning to the 2019 pay scale would have meant a 15% decrease in pay for the president and a 4% decrease in pay for the executive vice president.
After the act was withdrawn from the Feb. 4 meeting, the author of the act, Vice President for Financial Affairs Daniel Perkins, revised and reintroduced it during last Thursday’s meeting. The president and vice president will now avoid pay cuts, earning $4,200 and $3,150 per year respectively.
“Due to a clerical error that wasn’t amendable from the Senate floor, the legislation was delayed by one week,” Perkins said.
Four positions that were listed in the act on Feb. 4 do not appear in the final pay scale approved by the senate; the chief legislative officer, chief implementation officer, senate secretary and deputy chief of staff were set to receive $585 dollars, but the positions are not included in the approved pay scale.
The chief legislative officer and chief implementation officer positions have been consolidated under the pre-existing chief administrative officer position. The senate secretary and deputy chief of staff will be unpaid this year.
In the original pay scale proposed on Feb. 4, the speaker of the senate, chief administrative officer and the chief justice would have earned slightly more than they will with the final pay scale that was approved on Feb. 11.
All five vice presidents will receive $3,000 per year, a slight increase from the previous pay scale that was withdrawn and revised. The chief of staff, attorney general and treasurer’s pay rates were unchanged in Perkins’ revisions.
The act said that, for many officers, the time commitment exceeds the weekly 12-hour minimum for executive officers and the 6-hour minimum for all other positions. The time commitment, Perkins wrote, “often prohibits them from obtaining other employment.”
“SGA stipends promote equity by providing all students an opportunity to serve, some of whom might otherwise have a second or third job in addition to their SGA duties,” Press Secretary Jackson Fuentes said.
He said stipends are essential to promote equity and provide an opportunity for all students who wish to serve.
If an SGA executive officer was to substitute their 12 required weekly office hours with a minimum wage job in Alabama for 12 months, they would earn about $4,500 dollars. That’s $300 more than the president’s stipend, who is the highest paid SGA officer.
Fuentes said the stipend is reflective of the hundreds of hours each SGA member puts into the organization. He said an established pay scale would provide compensation for these officers and ensure that officers produce work of the highest standards.