Dear SOGS and UWOFA members,
Please be advised that the Grad Club will be temporarily closed from Monday, July 31st to Friday, August 17, 2023 due to a long-awaited remodel project meant to refresh the space. Learn more about the project and how we are supporting our staff below.
We apologize if this temporary closure causes our members and campus community friends any inconvenience, but the remodel of the Grad Club is critical for its continued legacy at WesternU. For your health and safety, we need to close during the remodel process.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
We are refreshing the Grad Club’s patio and interior space to make it a better experience for our patrons and members. It is our hope that the new Grad Club will not only be more accessible for all patrons, but will also excite the campus and London community so as to drive sales and engagement up.
The space has not been repainted since 2015 and the furniture is nearing 20-years-old! This project has been in the planning stage for years. SOGS has been saving UWOFA fees and the Grad Club levy (capital expense reserve) for years to make this project happen.
In May 2023, SOGS council unanimously approved a request to spend $100,000 of capital reserve funds on this project. We are using that money to:
- Replace all worn down interior wooden chairs;
- Replace unaccessible patio picnic tables with new tables and chairs;
- Remove all old smoke-eater units and clean all vents in interior ceiling;
- Replace all broken ceiling tiles and remove any unnecessary wiring;
- Paint ceiling dark to hide imperfections and vent work;
- Replace all ceiling fans and pendant lights with more contemporary models;
- Paint walls in warm tones;
- Sand and paint bar;
- Sand, paint, and reupholster booth seating; and,
- Install new Grad Club member Hall of Fame display.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT HERE.
Due to the timeline of this remodel project’s varying levels of approval and lengthy quoting processes, SOGS notified Grad Club staff of the temporary closure on Wednesday, July 12th via email, and then held a follow-up meeting with staff on Monday, June 17th. During the meeting, Grad Club staff expressed concern regarding this timeline and closure, primarily how it will impact staff wages.
Please be advised that, according to the Canadian Employment Standards Act, SOGS, as an employer, is not required to provide any notice, reasoning, or compensation with regards to temporary closures and staff lay-offs. With that said, we understand the precarious nature of part-time employment for graduate students and the moral obligation we have to our members and staff.
As a result, the SOGS Executive, Grad Club, and Finance Committees proposed a motion to compensate staff during this temporary closure to be discussed at the July 2023 SOGS Council meeting last night. This motion is designed to address the Grad Club staff’s concerns in the form of offering wage compensation during the closure.
Councillors voted to pay Grad Club staff up to 100% of their wages during this temporary closure. What this means is that:
- Employees who qualify for Employment Insurance (i.e., full-time and some part-time) will claim it and also receive a pay top-up of 45% of wages from SOGS;
- Employees who do not qualify for Employment Insurance (i.e., new employees and some part-time employees) will receive 100% wage subsidy from SOGS.
SOGS will use money from its 2022-23 surplus fund to pay Grad Club employees.
READ THE JULY 2023 COUNCIL PACKAGE HERE.
If you have any questions or concerns, please send them to our VP Finance, Sairam Gajavelli, at email@example.com.