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Guild members to vote on elimination of cap on dues

The dues cap referendum is now over. Results will be posted Monday November 23. Thanks for voting!

You will soon be asked whether you support the removal of a cap on the dues that you pay to your union. An online referendum will take place during the week of November 16 and you will be asked the following question:

“Do you support the recommendation of the 2008 CMG Convention to phase out the individual dues maximum (the “cap”) over a period of ten (10) years, beginning January 1, 2010, after which time all references to the cap will be removed from the CMG bylaws?”

Click here for comments from members, both for and against the proposal.

A brief history: We pay dues at a rate of 1.55% of compensation. Currently, this is capped at $1500 a year: no member pays more than $1500, no matter how much they earn. At the 2008 CMG convention, 200 delegates from across the country passed a resolution calling for a referendum to be held on phasing out the cap over a ten-year period. If the referendum passes, the cap would go to $1600 in 2010, $1700 in 2011 and continue to increase in $100 increments until it ceases to exist in January 2020.

The initiative stems from a report to the 2008 convention from a national committee struck to examine the union’s finances. One of the committee’s recommendations was to eliminate the dues cap. Convention delegates weighed different options, including maintaining the existing cap, increasing it, eliminating it immediately, or phasing it out over ten years. Delegates opted to send this final proposal to all members for a referendum vote.

Most delegates who were in favour of the referendum spoke of the need to apply the dues rate fairly and equally to all members. The motive was not to generate more revenue. In phasing out the cap in $100 increments, Guild dues revenue would go up by about $20,000 in the first year, with less additional revenue every year after. This compares to overall dues revenue of $5.6 million anticipated for 2009. Click here for an overview of the Guild’s budget.

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