THE VUWSA Executive has voted unanimously to remove Campaigns Manager Kate McEachen from her post, after she failed to attend enough meetings.
According to the VUWSA Constitution, a member of the executive is assumed to have resigned in the instance of his or her failure to attend three consecutive meetings without apologies.
McEachen was previously granted an approved absence due to disabilities, but Education Vice-President Joel Cosgrove stated that she had since returned, and had then failed to attend the meetings.
McEachen disputes this so-called resignation, claiming that she had been granted sick leave, and that her absence was unavoidable as she was having surgery. “I haven’t resigned by not attending,” she says. “What it comes down to is that I’ve tried to come back but they haven’t let me.” She submitted a report, “doing more than a week’s work,” which was subsequently not accepted.
To claims that she has proven difficult to contact, McEachen explains that she had been in the South Island and snowed in. She adds that despite this, there has not been many attempts to contact her, and numerous calls she has made to VUWSA President Nick Kelly about the situation have been ignored.
Kelly denies this. “I’ve had no messages from her. I was under the impression that she wanted mediation.”
McEachen expresses concern for VUWSA, stating that in accordance to human rights, a working environment must be equal for all employees. “I disassociate myself from any organisation that operates against these rights.” Kelly insists that VUWSA is in compliance with such rights. He adds that as Campaigns Officer, a post she was voted into in last September’s elections, McEachen had not been involved in many campaigns. “She was supposed to be involved with the disabilities campaign but she didn’t do much on that.”
When asked if there was any possibility of McEachen returning to her role, Kelly replied that she would have to stand in an election. Nominations for a new Campaigns Officer opened last Wednesday, and close this week.