An embattled student union leader is facing a vote of no-confidence and an ex-employee is fighting his sacking as tensions reach breaking point.
Massey University Extramural Students' Society president Jeannette "JV" Chapman has had a disruptive past few months with an annual meeting failing to get a quorum, the resignation of co-opted executive members and questioning about allegations she earns more than $50,000 part-time through her honorarium.
This week 28 members signed a letter sent to the society's greater Manawatu area representative, Anne Palmer, requesting a special general meeting to be called within three days so a motion of no-confidence can be held on Ms Chapman's presidency.
Members are alleging Ms Chapman acted unconstitutionally by firing four former executive members yet continuing to run the managerial panel with three co-opted members and making decisions on behalf of the society without the required quorum.
They also say Ms Chapman has "failed" members, citing transparency concerns, communication difficulties and queries relating to her honorarium being stone-walled.
"Ms Chapman's actions have brought the society into disrepute," Joy Green and Hannah Pratt said in a letter.
"We look forward to a swift conclusion of this unpleasant episode in the society's history and to being able to move forward positively."
Ms Chapman declined to respond when approached by the Manawatu Standard yesterday, saying any queries should be sent to her lawyers, but not saying who they were. Ms Palmer could also not be reached for comment.
Ms Chapman's former business adviser Alan Millar said he was cutting ties with the society next month after years of helping with constitutional changes.
He said his last involvement was in an employment dispute case Ms Chapman asked him to attend this week, but he was tight-lipped about what it was about.
Ms Chapman is facing fresh allegations from the society's communications manager, Adam Dodd, who she fired this week after a three-week suspension.
Arbitrator Jenny Murphy, the director of Employment Dispute Resolution who is representing Mr Dodds, said Ms Chapman dismissed him for "serious misconduct".
But there was confusion and lack of clarity about what she means, and Ms Murphy has requested the reasons to be provided in writing.
"Adam will be raising a personal grievance for unjustified disadvantage and unjustified dismissal . . . and we will continue through the process to the Employment Relations Authority to get a decision."
Mr Dodd said: "It's never a pleasant experience to be dismissed from a job, and of course I am unhappy with the outcome
". . . but there's certainly grounds for pursuing it."
Ms Chapman also refused to respond to queries about Mr Dodd.
Comments on the Extramural Students' Society Facebook page revealed more upheaval.
More than 300 people have been culled from the society's open page, with some members decrying the move as "smacking of censorship".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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