The National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Finance Committee have taken a long hard look at the financial situation of our organization. We find that it will be impossible to continue providing services to the members as of 2007 without a dues increase. Accordingly, a dues increase of $12.00 has been proposed, and ballots have been sent to the membership.
The following provides answers to some of your questions regarding the Association, and in particular, regarding the dues increase.
Q1. We have been informed that the Association is in an operating deficit situation. What caused the deficit?
A. The current operating deficit is the result of many factors, including; hiring additional staff to meet an increasing demand for services; the increasing costs of collective bargaining; rising professional fees for legal services owing to action to protect your pension surplus, human rights cases to defend the Canadian Human Rights Act, pay equity and other legal challenges; the high costs of accommodations in the National Capital Region. In sum, changes in the labour relations environment have made it impossible to continue to operate on the financial basis of $23 a month dues.
Q2. How does the National Executive Committee intend to get us out of this financial crisis?
A. Your National Executive Committee considers the deficit situation very serious. Consequently, your NEC determined that the current level of dues at $23 a month is inadequate to meet our members' increasing demands for a variety of services now and in the near future and is therefore proposing a $12.00 a month dues increase.
Q3. Is it true that our dues at $23 a month is one of the lowest among the Federal Public Service unions?
A. Yes. We will still be one of the lowest, the second lowest. Since other unions are facing the same pressures we are, it might be reasonable to expect that they, too, will need to increase dues in the coming years. See the attached table for a comparison of dues of other federal government unions.
Q4. Why did the NEC recommend the above level of dues increase?
A. The NEC examined a number of ideas, views and suggestions from members on the level of dues increase. Some members wanted a very low increase, others wanted a one time increase much higher much higher than the $12.00 currently being proposed. After reviewing numerous dues increase scenarios, and taking into consideration, CAPE’s current financial crisis, your NEC decided that the recommended level of dues will provide the required revenues to eliminate the current operating deficit.
Q5. If I approve the dues increase, will you also review the Association's expenditures?
A. Yes. This process has already begun and is on-going.
Q6. What is the real worth of our current dues in 2005?
A. Consider this; with inflation, $23 in 1993 translates into about $29 dollars in 2005. In addition, since union dues are tax deductible, roughly 40% to 45% of our dues increase will be returned to us through the tax system as most of us fall within this income tax bracket.
Q7. When do we expect another level of dues increase?
A. Good question! The $12 dues increase will establish a sound financial basis for the organization’s future. In 2007, the organization will no longer be using its reserves to cover operating expenses. In 2008 and 2009, the organization will continue to be in a healthy situation. Depending on the outcome of the conversion to the new EC classification standard, the organization may be able to sustain itself without an increase in dues for several more years. The NEC will put in place a constitutional provision to review expenses and the dues structure periodically. The recommendation(s) resulting from such a review will determine whether an increase in our dues will be necessary and if so, when and by how much.
Q8. Have our members been engaged in the discussions leading to the Resolution on the dues increase?
A. Yes. The NEC has addressed the dues increase issue at various CAPE forums in 2004 and 2005, including Annual General Meetings and Local Leadership meetings. It held a special Local Leadership meeting in February, 2005 and received strong support for a dues increase so as to maintain the Association.
In addition the President and the National Executive Committee members are making presentations and answering questions at various Local AGMs. Finally members will have further opportunities to participate fully and democratically. in the CAPE AGM on November 30, 2005 and have their questions answered.
Q9. When will I receive my Ballot?
A. The Resolution with the ballot were sent to all members before November 11, 2005. The package contains important information on the dues increase from your National Executive Committee which you are encouraged to read before voting.
Q10. How are members reacting to a proposed dues increase?
A. Reactions so far have been positive. The NEC is encouraged by the number of members who have said publicly that our current level of dues does not reflect the times and are consequently willing to support a dues increase. They add that the Association should have instituted a dues increase years ago.
Q11. What happens after the vote?
A. You will be informed of the results sometime in December, 2005.
Q12. Who do I contact for more information, or to express an opinion?
A. Your Local Leadership has been provided with materials that will enable them to answer your questions.
Your National Executive Committee members will be happy to answer your questions and are interested in hearing your views on the matter.