by Moe Taghdis, Guild Treasurer
I have been the Guild Treasurer since September of 2011, and it has been a challenge to say the least. I am sorry to report that with everything that has been going on in the field of education, our union has also been affected. In order to have a strong union we must be able to protect our members to the best of our abilities. The structure of our membership dues has been the same for the last four years. The Guild Executive has tried not to increase the dues during these difficult times, but unfortunately due to numerous factors, including an increase in AFT/CFT fees in 2009, reduction in revenues due to retirees, 4% pay cuts, eliminating/reducing summer and winter intersessions, and the tremendous amount of money that the Guild is spending on legal counsel to protect and defend our members, the Guild reserves have been diminished and the dues cannot be kept at their old level much longer. Currently, the Guild’s dues structure is 1% of our salary capped at $90/month.
The Guild Executive is proposing to remove the cap and have everyone pay 1% of their income. Although this will affect only about 90 of our Guild members, it saddens me that it had to happen on my watch as Guild Treasurer. Clearly this will not solve all our financial problems, but I believe this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, the tax initiatives will pass in November and we will all be in a better position next year, and maybe we will be able to go back to our current dues structure at that time. You can help by printing your own petition, and gathering signatures from your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. The rules for these petitions are very strict.
Please visit http://protectschoolsandpublicsafety.org/ to get familiar with the rules, print pages of the petition and find out where to mail the completed petitions by April 27, 2012. Thank you.