November 16, 2005

CAPE members are currently being asked to vote on a $12.00 increase in dues. The ballots have been mailed to the membership, along with materials relating to the upcoming Annual General Meeting, scheduled for November 30th. The following material provides information regarding the Association, and in particular, regarding the proposed $12.00 dues increase.

The June Dues Proposal
We Got the Message – What Members Want and Expect

In June of this year your National Executive Committee (NEC) asked you to support a dues increase of $21 per month. The proposal failed to win a majority support by a small margin of 6% (47% of you said “Yes”, and 53% said “No”). The principal reason for a dues increase still exist and must be addressed.

The post June dues increase vote analysis suggests that while members were willing to support a dues increase to ensure the survival of their Association, they wanted the NEC to focus on addressing CAPE’s financial situation now. As a result, your Finance Committee did two things:

First, it undertook an exhaustive budgetary review process wherein every line item was reviewed extensively and challenged, an exercise never before seen in the Association, to ensure the most efficient use of existing resources.

Second, it developed a number of dues increase scenarios based on members’ message and expectations, out of which it recommended a $12 per month dues increase to the National Executive Committee for the general membership approval.

The National Executive Committee believes this amount will allow CAPE to meet its annual operating expenses, fulfill its legal responsibilities as a bargaining agent and eliminate the current operating deficit by the end of fiscal year 2007.

On the basis of the above, your National Executive Committee strongly encourages all members to support this dues increase.

Members’ Dues and Members’ Services

a. Direct Services to Members

Here are some of the services we provide to members to help improve their work-place environment, their careers and relationships with the employer.

i. The proposed dues increase will provide CAPE the means to continue to do the things we do best, that is, provide services to our members.

CAPE has a record of a superior level of representation services to our members. We provide effective representation, foster dialogue, resolve workplace conflicts, grievances, appeals, staffing complaints, discrimination complaints, harassment grievances and complaints, issues related to work-life balance and occupational safety and health issues.

ii. We are currently dealing with the implementation of the Public Service Modernization Act and the Public Service Labor Relations Act. Soon, we will be dealing with the coming changes to the Public Service Employment Act, as they impact directly on our members. This changing environment in the public service has required the full consultative resources of our professional services staff and the enlistment of our local and national leadership. This has effectively stretched our current capacity to its limits.

iii. We negotiate the members’ Collective Agreements - the EC bargaining unit, the LoP, and the TR’s – including the Financial Incentive Plan. For reasons beyond our control, we have become involved in constant rounds of bargaining. The amount of preparatory work involved taxes our professional resources, and the increasing number of the bargaining committees’ meetings cost more money.

iv. We represent the collective interests of CAPE members on labour-management consultation committees and working groups. Currently, we are involved in consultations on the matter of the new EC classification standard which is about to be finalized for the 2006 round of collective bargaining.

v. We train our Local Leaders including stewards and collaborate with them in serving our members in union-management consultations, or in appeals and grievances.

b. Indirect Services

i. We pursue court actions on behalf of members, on those issues that matter the most – the pension surplus for example, and individual and human rights.

ii. We review government policies and directives, and prepare position papers.

iii. We make representation before relevant tribunals on behalf of the membership. Remember the Lajoie decision that discriminated against our members and every other public service employee?

iv. We stand before Parliamentary Committees on behalf of our members – Bill C-78 (the Pension Surplus appropriation), Bill C-25 – the Public Service Modernization Act) and Bill C-241 – the Public Service Whistleblowing Act.

Cost Cutting Initiatives

As mentioned above, we have conducted a budgetary exercise that is unprecedented in the history of the Association, by cutting costs where possible without jeopardizing or reducing our core services to members. As an example, we have made changes to the manner in which we communicate with members and are implementing some cost cutting measures, such as, documents are now produced and made accessible to members electronically. In addition, more and more reports and information are being posted on the CAPE website. This year’s Annual Report will be made available on-line so as to reduce the cost of mailing to over 10,000 members. Members who want hard copies will be asked to call CAPE national office.

An electronic notification system has been set up, so that when the CAPE website is updated, we can inform members.

We will continue to explore other cost cutting measures to ensure stewardship in the use of members resources as we responsibly address the current financial situation facing CAPE.

Additional Information: