The next NUS Services members meeting will take place after Students' Union 2016 and prior to Trade Show in the Exhibition centre (staff will be on hand to direct people).
Date: Thursday 7 July
Time: 9:00am - 10:00am
Introduction from the Chair
At Strategic Conversation in May the Company Plan for NUS Services was referred back to the Board for reconsideration. The Board, which includes staff and students from member Unions, have revised the plan and are re-presenting it to the members meeting which takes place in Liverpool at 9am on the 7th of July prior to the Services Trade Fair. The Board felt to re-present to a members meeting was the correct course of action and have altered elements of the plan following feedback from the Cooperative Enterprise Units and members meeting in Manchester.
The Board feel that the plan sits well alongside the NUS100 strategy and believe it describes the activity for the next year. In future the Board will produce a longer term plan, more than an annual document and this will be discussed and adapted, if necessary at the annual meeting.
I would like to highlight some issues in advance of the meeting:
- The Board will not be bringing forward proposals for a differential scale of NUS extra card commission as this idea was not widely supported.
- In order to meet the budget set for the group the board feel that a price increase for the NUS extra card is still required and will be putting a price increase of £1 from the January 2017 to the meeting. This was discussed positively at the NUS extra exchange events agreed by the Direction and Overisight Board (DOB) and poorly presented to the wider membership. That said we still feel this is an appropriate change to make.
- The Board will be asking the membership to endorse the abolition of the Media DOB, this activity will be overseen directly by the Board due to the small number of members involved in this area
- The Board are also suggesting that two of the remaining DOBs have name changes from Purchasing and Digital to Trading Support and Union Cloud respectively.
The meeting will also receive the financial updates previously prepared and an activity report from the NUS Charity. The donation that funds the NUS Charity is made directly from Services. It is a responsibility of the Services Board to ensure the donation is used appropriately. This responsibility is discharged via an annual report from the Charity Trustees that details the Charity activity and finances. The paper circulated for the members meeting gives a flavour of what that report contains and a broad indication of what the donation is spent on.
The plan and all the papers for the meeting are available by following the link below
Looking forward to seeing you in Liverpool.
Richard Brooks, Chair of NUS Services Board
Membership and Union Development Activities
This will be a short presentation recapping what was discussed at the meeting at Strategic Conversation in May. The accounts ending June 2015 are available via the link in the menu on the left.
References Back NUS Services Plan 2016 - Meeting of the members 7/7/2016
Reference Back- Union Cloud Section (P18) and Budget (P31)
The original business plan for this areas of work involved risking up to £1m of the group’s reserves. Since then budgets have been constantly not met and then revised, pushing back the date when the project will enter profitability further and further into the future.
This year even without depreciation the project is budgeted to lose over £200k with no clear sense of how this gap might be closed or how the original wider investment might be paid off. This means in our view the project has moved from an initial cash reserves risk to an ongoing drain on collectively generated resources (both direct and indirect) being spent on a small no of unions- with no credible plan to close the gap.
We would therefore like these sections to be referenced back and ask the Board to consider urgently how it might isolate the losses and risk of this (and other projects) to those unions that are taking part in that activity.
Reference Back- Budget (P31)
The budget in the document is presented in a way that prevents evaluation of each of the business areas/strands of work and their profitability. In addition in year performance is displayed for some areas; not for others- and in each case in a different format.
We would therefore like to reference back the budget as presented and ask the Board to re-resent the budget in such a way as to demonstrate the intended financial performance of each area.
Reference Back- Budget (P31)
We believe that when our students buy an NUS Extra card that they think (and are actively being told) that this includes a contribution to NUS and its campaigns. In the past NUS Extra profits went to NUS. However these documents propose a donation direct from NUS Services to NUS Charity that has been generated from NUS Extra sales.
We do not believe that it is appropriate for the NUS Services Board to be proposing a donation to the NUS Charity and nor do we think it is its role to consider how large that donation should be or to guide what it is spent on.
NUS Services Annual Plan
The minutes from this meeting can be found here.