As some of you are aware, recent news coverage has identified that a number of federal public service unions are facing fiscal challenges as a direct result of the implementation of the current government’s deficit reduction budget. Membership numbers in these unions has fallen to levels where their current dues structure will not maintain fiscal capacity, and they now have the unfortunate task of introducing options to increase dues.
I am pleased to report that this is not the case at ACFO. Well before WFA was on anybody’s radar, we at ACFO recognized the need to be a cost-effective organization that provides high value-for-dollar for our membership. Over the past several years we began reviewing our operations to find ways to reduce costs while at the same time improve services to members.
Some of the measure we took to improve effectiveness and efficiency include the purchase of an office building versus a lease arrangement which results in a savings of $160,000 annually. We also introduced electronic voting that not only saves $30,000 dollar every time we hold an annual general meeting and vote on proposed collective agreements, but it also improves governance and it provides us with useful demographic information for our collective bargaining and pay equity initiatives. In addition, we implemented web-conferencing that continues to increase savings on travel costs.
In addition to implementing cost saving solutions, ACFO resolved to take a proactive approach to dealing with the government’s desire to implement its Deficit Reduction Action Plan (DRAP).
In order to minimize the impact of DRAP on our members, we implemented an advocacy campaign that spoke to members of parliament about the contributions that financial officers bring to the government’s fiscal agenda. We reminded them of the important role that sound fiscal management plays not only domestically, but also the impact it has on how a nation is perceived globally. As such I feel that our efforts have produced results. While the FI community is not immune to DRAP, financial officers have been impacted less in comparison to other occupational groups.
I can assure you that ACFO will not be seeking dues increases as a result of DRAP, nor do we anticipate the necessity to re-evaluate our dues structure for some time.
Our commitment to you is to continue our focus on providing you with exceptional services in the area of representation including collective bargaining, pay equity dispute resolution, advocating for improvements in professional development, and minimizing the impact of DRAP on our community.
We plan on delivering this exceptional level of representation with no increase in union dues.
Milt Isaacs, CMA, CPFA
President, Association of Canadian Financial Officers