Summary of Local Leadership Meeting

March 10, 2005
Summary of Local Leadership Meeting
February 21, 2005
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Ottawa, Ontario
5:30 p.m.
The 2005 CAPE National Executive Committee members introduced themselves and J. Aggrey introduced the regional Local Leaders in attendance.
The President explained that CAPE’s deficits are primarily the result of:
1. hiring additional staff to meet an increasing demand for services;
2. the increasing costs of collective bargaining;
3. rising professional fees for legal services, owing to action to protect your pension surplus, human right cases, pay equity and other legal challenges;
4. the skyrocketing costs of accommodations in the national capital region; and
5. the inadequacy of a $23-a-month dues base to sustain a public service union in 2005.
We are trying to run a Union in 2005 on a budget of 1993. Dues have not kept pace with the cost of living and this must be recognized and factored into the deficit.
What has your National Executive done to date?
The National Executive Committee has undertaken discussions on dues increase for quite some time.
The New National Executive moved that:
1. It exercise its authority under the CAPE Constitution to ensure that ACEP-CAPE continue to exist.
2. The Association endeavour to maintain, at least, the current level of services in formulating a dues increase.
3. It adopt July 1, 2005, as the proposed date for the implementation of any dues increase.
The President stated that the Association will examine all expenditures and cut where possible with the exception of the Association’s contractual and legal obligations regarding staff salaries and benefits. Yes, the accommodation or lease is on the table for review.
Assumptions for developing the dues increase scenarios
• we know what the costs will be for the government’s new labour relations regime
• we assume that they will be similar to the costs of the old labour relations regime
• changes to the TR bureau will not impose additional costs
• that there will be no increase in member demands
• our current resources are sufficient – we know that our LRO are overworked
• Membership numbers will remain the same
We face a number of constraints – we have legal obligations - we have wind down costs in the order of 3 million dollars.
Why/what do we value about CAPE?
- We have adequate staff and resources
- level of service and full support of the staff
- a lean organization and security of not going out on strike
- support of association for mutli-lingual group
- staff are accessible
- reclassification into correct bargaining units
- political lobbying efforts
- protecting our rights
- defends our interests and meets our specific needs
- recognises each bargaining unit as individual
- responsive
Comments
- hoping to see a $14 scenario
- There are two major questions we need to answer
how much surplus do we want to have?
how quickly do we want to pay off deficit?
- global analysis – show that an effort has been done to streamline
- what is the dues and level of service from other unions?
- structure dues increases to level of pay increases
- does not meet minimum standards of financial disclosure
- how did we get into a deficit?
- use the Bank of Canada’s inflation rate
- members will want to see a strategic plan
- do we want a plan for further dues increase – one year plan, two year plan, 5 year plan?
- not sure it is a good idea to have dues associated with pay increases
- members value service – do we compromise that or raise dues – or join another union?
- we have received ample information previously
- should have a scenario of one large increase
- do not need a task force – this is why we have a finance committee and recommend to the NEC
Questions
Q. Are we only looking to eliminate deficit but also how much surplus we want?
Q. Do we want to come back to this issue every two years?
Q. Is the merger the reason we are in this situation?
A. No, Operating costs have been going up consistently – and dues have not – that is the reason
Q. Can we cut costs?
A. Yes but then we are cutting services – plain and simple and we don’t want to do that - we all seem to agree on this –
Q. Is the issue of the lease on the table – assuming that we do not want to continue with the lease?
A. Yes – bear in mind that we will have to pay legal counsel to research breaking the lease, hire a real estate agent to get other options, etc…
Summary
- first be political - advance the situation in words and not numbers
- explain how we got here
- talk about what we do
- justify why we need an increase – what service we provide
- tell some individual stories of what services have been received /accomplishments
- describe level of service and provide the alternatives – compare to other unions
- provide context and explain fully
- members will support a dues increase if they have been provided full information
- provide examples of what a dues increase compares to – a cup of coffee a day, CPI, Inflation rate,
- are other unions in the same position
There is a view that the Association cannot continue to operate at this level of dues.