Trustee Board Updates

Here you'll find updates from the Board of Trustees, these are summaries of the discussions rather than minutes. Some items are confidential to indviduals, to protect the privacy of those individuals we don't share information about them. There may also be times whereby there are confidential conversations relating to commercial activity, again this information wont be shared.

  • The union's accounts for 2019-2020 were approved by the Board of Trustees
    • What does this mean?: It means that the union's auditors are content that the union has the appropriate financial controls in place, that union's management is acting appropriately when it comes to managing the union's finances, and that all funding has been reported correctly against invoices, Purchase Orders, etc
    • Once signed, the accounts will be uploaded to our website, the Charity Commission website, and Companies House. 
  • Trustees have approved 'Going Concern'
    • What does this mean?: Companies need to make an assessment as to whether they the organisation will continue for a further year. The Trustees have to make a public statement that notes they believe the union will still exist in February 2022.
  • Board have asked for the union to review our existing organisational policies (HR and financial policies).
  • Board was updated on the Chief Executive's work with the university in negotiating the union's budget for the next three years
  • Officer reports were received and it was noted how epic a job they are doing under very challenging circumstances!
  • SUSS Pensions were noted explaining that staff will be attending the SUSS Pension AGM with any info gained will be shared with the Board.
  • Management Accounts were also received and noted

The Board of Trustees approved three roles for recruitment

  1. Student Experience Reps: Swansea & Caramarthen to support students from these campuses over the next few months.

  1. Student Voice Co-ordinator (fixed-term) to support the QAA review the university will undergo in 2022.

  1. Content & Communications Producer (fixed-term) to support the union to enhance how it communicates with students and stakeholders. 

The Board also held a development day focusing on: enhancing financial stability, how the sub-committees work over the next few months, and engagement.

 

  • Jake Furby was appointed as Student Trustee 

  • Update from Human Resources Committee focusing on general report and the planned staff survey 

  • Update from Health & Safety Committee focusing on general report and the development opportunities for staff around assessing risk 

  • Finances are in a positive position with projections for the end of the year: £50,000 HEFCW Funding has been received and noted within accounts, outstanding CONNECT funding was noted, and Outstanding payments also noted (refurbishment and laptops for staff). 

  • Risk Register update was received 

  • Congratulations to Carmarthen Campus President on her pregnancy! Carmarthen Campus President will take maternity leave from the beginning of March until the end of June. To continue to support Carmarthen students the union will recruit two student staff members to cover the gap. One student staff member will be supporting undergraduates, the other will support postgraduate students. The Student Voice & Advocacy team will support these student staff members. 

  • HEFCW have given all students’ union £50,000. UWTSD SU will be using our £50,000 on Health & Wellbeing projects for students. To undertake this work the union will recruit a fixed-term ‘Health & Wellbeing Assistant’ this role will be a career staff member. There is an internal opportunity for an existing staff member to line manage this role.

 

 

  • Management Accounts were noted:
    • Approved: Amending reserves policy to be set at £120,000 rather than £115,000 – what we mean by ‘Reserves’ is the amount of cash we would need in the bank to cover staff salaries for 3 months if the university weren’t able to provide us our block grant. 
    • Approved: Operating policy will be to attempt to keep £20,000 available per month for expenditure on a monthly basis to support projects and campaigns we’ll aim to have this as our operating costs outside of staff costs and reserves. It also means that if something we haven’t planned for happens we can react i.e. snap general election etc.

 

  • Update on Y Llloft was presented – it’s looking lovely! Carmarthen Venue Manager is working very hard on making the space look welcoming and its coming along brilliantly. 
  • Old Bar & Xtension – we went out to recruit for a Venue Manager, but unfortunately the recruitment fell through. Instead we are working with Tammy to update Old Bar a bit, the floor tiles were put in place in 1988! So we’ll start with the floors being all the same! We’ll be putting up some shelves and plants among other improvements. Recruitment for the Lampeter Venue Manager will take place end of November. Board got to see what Old Bar looks like now to give context as to what we’re doing and were updated on the vacant role.
  • A student trustee commented on how lovely their rep training was and gave a massive shoutout to it during the meeting. They enjoyed it being interactive and particularly liked the intro to the union generally as part of the training.
  • Approved: Chief Executive 6 month Probation
  • Sabbatical Officer updates – the sabbs told the Board all about what they’ve been up to and exciting work going on to achieve manifesto points.
  • Risk Register update was provided. Trustees are content with current risk management process.
  • Approved: Memorandum & Articles of Association amendments. The Mem & Arts is our governing document you can find out all about the changes by taking a look at this new article.
    • Action: to continue the process of amending the governing document
  • Any Other Business:
    • Relationship agreement between UWTSD and UWTSD SU delayed due to both union and university capacity – this document outlines our relationship with the university

 

  • The new brand was presented to trustees

  • An amended staffing structure was presented and approved: Head of Membership Services and Student Engagement Assistant: Satelttle Campuses roles were introduced.

  • Sabbatical Officer salary was approved at £18,000

 

  • Sabbatical Officer Trustees 2019/2020 resigned

  • Sabbatical Officer Trustees 2020/2021 were appointed

  • Positive financial situation was noted at year-end accounts.

  • Chief Executive's 3 month probtation was approved.

  • Board recieved an overview of casework.

  • Memorandum & Articles of Assoication amendments were initially proposed as part of a review process.

  • Carmarthen Campus Y Lloft refurbishment was approved

  • Staff Conduct During Elections policy was approved

  • Celebrating Performance & Development Policy was approved.

  • Sub-committee allocation for the 2020/2021 was approved.

 

  • Management Accounts noted: positive cash position, especially with staff vacancies

  • Board were presented a new staff policy: Staff Conduct During Elections

  • Options for how Carmarthen Venue can be developed were presented. The Board of Trustees asked for 2 options to be further considered: 1) The union switching the ground floor and the first floor around and 2) A re-development of the Carmarthen Venue to be more fit-for-purpose.

  • SUSS Pension update was recieved highlighting that the fund is 3% behind where it needed to be through actuarial valuation.

 

  • Ananya Sandhu was appointed as External Trustee 

  • Audited Accounts were presented to the Board. Board are content with the current management of the SUSS pension liability. However, a further update post-SUSS AGM will be provided to the Board. Board of Trustees agreed to enact Gowing Concern. 

  • Update on strong trade of Old Bar and Xtension as well as less favourable results for Y Lloft.

  • Family-friendly HR policies were initially presented for comment. Predominately Board would like to see an amendment around gendered pronouns.

  • Bilingual policy was approved with an action plan developed by Chief Executive and Carmarthen Campus President.

  • Study policy was requested to be amended to reflect the university's study leave allowance.

  • NUS UK & NUS Charity affiliation: Board approved joining both NUS UK and NUS Charity.