Chapter and Conference Dues/Budgets

Chapters

One of the chapter executive committee’s basic responsibilities is the development of a budget for a stated period which will (1) identify the sources and limits of income, and (2) adequately support the program adopted by the chapter in light of its local, state, and national responsibilities.

The experience of chapters in developing “workable” budgets falls into either of two categories. The first category includes chapters that depend on “volunatary” dues payments to finance their chapter activities. These chapters must use extreme caution in developing and managing a chapter budget. The amount of dues is usually established by the chapter executive committee. This recommended dues level is then submitted to chapter members for their approval or disapproval. This procedure is usually done by secret ballot, although it is not unheard of to call for a voice vote. Depending on the size of a chapter and/or the scope of chapter activities, dues range anywhere from $50 to $200 per member per year. Chapters involved in collective bargaining generally incur large expenses associated  with contract negotiations and administration. Thus, an adequate income is imperative. Also remember, it’s much easier to request a reduction of the dues level than to request a dues increase. As a rule of thumb, three-quarters of one percent of annual salary is a “recommended” and adequate dues level for collective bargaining chapters. The best methos for dues collection is by payroll deduction; if this method is not available the next best method is billing every faculty member. The best way to attract money and membership is to announce a program that faculty members will think valuable. Another key to enlarging chapter activities liest in efforts to secure income in additiont o dues from fundraising activities.

The second category includes those collective bargaining chapters that have negotiated an agency show provision int heir contract. This provision requires, as a condition of continued employment, faculty members to pay dues or an assessment equal to dues. Chapters operating under this provision will have a much better indication of their actual income fora given year. Thus, a budget can be developed with greater scope and flexibility as to the chapter’s needs and responsibilites. As stated before, payroll deduction is the best method of dues collection. Collective bargaining chapters should negotiate a clause in their contract mandating that dues be automatically deducted from each faculty member’s paycheck. Once dues are deducted the campus payroll office (or in the case of public universities, the State Comptroller’s Office), will send the chapter a check for the total amount accompanied by a list of faculty names and the amounts deducted. When negotiating a “checkoff” provision (dues deduction) it is a good idea toincorporate a timetable for forwarding of the decuted monues to your chapter. Depending on the payroll schedule (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) most contract provisions provide for said monies to be forwarded to a chapter within a week (maximum of two weeks) form the time the dues are deducted. Establishing such a timetable will give a chapter a better indication of what their cash flow should be for any given period of time.

Staff members may have heard the term “integrated dues system” and wondered what this meant. Chapters which maintain an integrated dues system collect dues fro the local chapter, the state conference, and National AAUP. It then becomes the chapter’s responsibility to pay the state conference and National AAUP dues for their members. An integrated dues billing is also available through the National office.

Conferences

Most conferences have established a dues rate ranging up to $20 per full time active conference member (and pro-rated for the other membership categories). In some cases individual chapters collect the dues and remit them to the conference treasury.

In the intergrated dues option, the national office collects the conference dues adn remits them to the conference. The national office can remit dues on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Although membership dues usually constitute the major portion of a conference’s, budget, fundraising is always a possibility. Grants based on membership size are available annually from National’s Assembly of State Conferences (ASC). Special project grants are often available from the national office either through ASC funds or CBC funds, depending on the project. Applications for these grants are made through the national office. Some conferences have raised additional funds by obtaining outside grants froma Foundation for special projects, by accepting commercial advertising in their Conference’s newsletter, and by soliciting individual gifts to support special Conference projects or funds such as a Legal Defense Fund, a Legislative Award Fund, or a Committee A fund.

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