Membership Proposals for Consideration at the AGM

Excerpt from the April 9 , 2012 CFUW National Club Action Newsletter – Membership Proposals for Consideration at the AGM

Member Proposals

At the March CFUW Board Meeting, the board appointed an ad hoc committee to review member proposals to confirm that they do not conflict with CFUW governing documents and that they are in good order for presentation to the membership.  The committee is comprised of CFUW Parliamentarian Elizabeth Haynes, Member of the CFUW Finance Committee Chris Tworo and Member of the CFUW Resolutions Committee Margaret Therrien.

Six proposals that are neither bylaw amendments or resolutions will be discussed at the AGM. The full text and rationale of each proposal is provided below. Thank you to CFUW Aurora-Newmarket, CFUW Markham-Unionville, CFUW Owen Sound and District, CFUW Windsor and CFUW Moncton for the thoughtful attention they have given to the preparation of these proposals and for their collaboration with the ad hoc committee.

Proposal One:  CFUW Aurora-Newmarket

Motion to Set CFUW Dues

Motion: that the CFUW per capita dues be set at $54.50; and that a supplementary per capita fee be assessed to clubs that have voted to be included in the GWI calculations at the prevailing GWI per capita dues rate, calculated at the Bank of Canada annual exchange rate on the preceding December 31. 

Background information: 

The motion establishes that GWI dues collected from clubs choosing to be included in the GWI per capita dues calculation will adjust to changing exchange rates and capitation amounts without the need for member approval. 

At this time, CFUW collects less for GWI dues than the amount assessed by GWI. As of May1,2021 the budgeted expense on the base GWI dues of 15.5 CHF (Swiss Francs) is at an exchange rate of 1.4 ($21.50 CAD). For example, in 2021 CFUW must pay GWI per capita dues of 18.6 CHF. The annual exchange rate as of December 31, 2020 was 1.4294 and it is expected to be as much as 1.47 in 2021. This means that while in 2021 CFUW budgeted for $21.50 per capita for the base amount, CFUW’s obligation is in the range of $26.58-$27.34. 

Establishment of GWI dues is outside of CFUW’s control. Adoption of this motion will ensure that CFUW collects sufficient funds to cover GWI dues.

Proposal Two:  CFUW Markham-Unionville

Motion to Set CFUW Dues

Moved that, CFUW per capita dues be set at

  • $55 for clubs excluded from the GWI dues calculation.
  • $55 plus the CFUW GWI per capita rate for clubs included in the GWI dues calculation; and

That, the CFUW GWI per capita rate will be calculated based on (A) the per capita GWI dues in Swiss francs multiplied by (B) the Bank of Canada average annual exchange rate published on the last business day of the preceding year multiplied by 1.05 to accommodate bank and transfer fees. CFUW GWI per capita rate = A X B X 1.05; and

That funds collected for GWI dues will be kept in a dedicated fund; and

That GWI dues will be paid from the dedicated fund; and

That in years when amount paid is less than the amount collected for payment of GWI dues, amounts will accrue in the dedicated fund for payment to GWI dues in years when the amount owed exceeds the amount collected; and

That clubs included in the GWI dues calculation will share equally the additional costs if there is not enough in the dedicated fund to cover the full cost of GWI dues.

Rationale:

The dues motion above reflects the current situation where clubs are either included or excluded from the GWI Per Capita Dues Calculation.

The rates specified allow CFUW National to meet its own operating expenses, a predictable amount that allows them to create a solid budget plan. The $55 per capita rate reflects only a tiny increase over the previous amount allocated to CFUW National, $54.30.

The rates specified allow CFUW National to meet its obligations to GWI.

Funds slated for CFUW GWI dues remain separate from the operating expenses of CFUW National, in a dedicated fund.

Since the CFUW dues rates are set long before clubs actually collect dues from members, forward their dues to National and National pays out to GWI, the exchange rate fluctuation can make a significant impact. (The total elapsed time is over 18 months.)

The 1.05 multiplier used in the calculation of the CFUW GWI per capita rate is justified based on recent experience with bank fees and the recent history of currency exchange fluctuations between the Swiss franc and the Canadian dollar. For example, here are some sample rates in Canadian dollars using average annual exchange rates published by the Bank of Canada on the last business day of the year:

2017 >> 1.3189 X 15.5 CHF = $20.44 CAD*

2018 >> 1.3246 X 15.5 CHF = $20.53 CAD*

2019 >> 1.3353 X 15.5 CHF = $20.70 CAD*

2020 >> 1.4294 X 15.5 CHF = $22.16 CAD*

*These are sample rates only and they do not show local bank fees which would be applied for international funds transfer. Reference: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/exchange/annual-average-exchange-rates/#table 

Proposal 3:  CFUW Aurora Newmarket

Use of $21.70 per capita Restricted Reserve 

Motion: That from the CFUW per capita dues of clubs that elect not to be included in the GWI dues calculation, a restricted Grant fund be established. On a per capita basis, clubs excluded from the GWI dues calculation may apply for a grant of up to the full amount of the GWI per capita dues for use for local and international advocacy and initiatives; and

That the Governance Committee be charged with establishing application policies and procedures that ensure proper timely oversight (within 6 months of application receipt) while providing clubs the latitude to plan initiatives that meet club priorities; and

That costs associated with grant administration and application fees not to exceed fifteen percent, may be deducted from these funds for CFUW National administrative expenses. 

Background information: 

For over 100 years, CFUW clubs and members have worked for the betterment and advancement of women and girls locally, nationally and internationally. Without the need to financially support GWI, clubs have an opportunity to make their own decisions about how to fund and support local and/or international outreach and scholarships. 

Financial costs or implications: grant administrative and application fees not to exceed 15 percent, to be assessed to cover associated costs to national office. 

Operational implications: staff resources to administer grant applications; Governance Committee to establish application policies and procedures. 

Proposal 4:  CFUW Owen Sound and Area

Use of $21.70 per capita Restricted Reserve 

MOVED:  THAT CFUW National make a one-time payment of $21.70 per capita to Clubs that are not included in the Graduate Women International (GWI) dues calculation to use as those Clubs determine. 

Rationale:     Clubs that have voted to Opt-out are well-positioned to determine the needs in their local communities, or to identify advocacy projects well beyond their geographic boundaries. These clubs will welcome the opportunity to use funds provided by their members to choose the most appropriate project(s) to support the goals of CFUW related to women’s issues such as violence against women, early learning and child care, education, economic prosperity, and the empowerment of women as leaders and decision-makers.

Proposal 5:  CFUW Windsor

Use of $21.70 per capita Restricted Reserve 

Moved that a project fund be established to provide grants to projects that support CFUW’s mission in Canadian Indigenous Communities; and 

that proposals from clubs, the CFUW national office and CFUW board will be vetted through a sub-committee, with approval authority, under the supervision of the Vice Presidents of Advocacy and Education; and

that the initial fund will come from the $21.70 per capita restricted reserve created by clubs not included in the 2022 GWI dues calculation.

CFUW Windsor has elected not to be included in the GWI dues calculation.  The CFUW Indigenous Study Group has highlighted areas of inequity in Canadian Indigenous Communities.   We believe that the $21.70 per capita can be effectively used to support projects that advance equity for women and girls in Canadian Indigenous Communities.

Proposal 6: CFUW Moncton

Payment of GWI dues

Moved that CFUW forward to GWI any outstanding dues from the invoice dated January 1, 2020; and

That CFUW pay all dues owing on GWI invoices to be received for January 2021 and January 2022.

Rationale

It is important to honour the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the December 31, 2022 as agreed upon by the Board and ratified by the CFUW membership. 

Through negotiations with GWI over several months, the CFUW Board presented the issues that were causing dissent within our organization. The result was the MOU.

MOU JULY 2019: Bullet points 5, 6 & 7:

Dues Payable by CFUW to GWI for the Upcoming Triennium (2020, 2021, 2022) and other GWI Actions

  • GWI agrees to review its voting structure to ensure an appropriately enhanced reflection of CFUW’s membership numbers.
  • CFUW has agreed to contribute to this review by sharing with GWI the research the CFUW negotiating committee has compiled regarding alternate dues models.
  • It is proposed that this process be completed and reported to NFAs in a timeframe that would allow for decisions to be made no later than nine months prior to the 2022 GWI General Assembly.

According to the Board this work is ongoing; however, in “Important Message from CFUW National President, Kathryn Wilkinson, Dec 9, 2020”, it states:

1.“CFUW members have not supported motions to increase CFUW dues aimed at covering the GWI dues increase that took effect on January 1, 2018.  Fundraisers and requests for voluntary contributions have not netted sufficient funds to cover this shortfall.  In 2019, unrestricted reserves were used to ensure all dues owing at that time were paid.  However, shortages for 2020 and 2021 are accumulating.  CFUW cannot continue to accumulate deficits in GWI dues.” 

This would indicate that CFUW is not abiding by the MOU.  Further to this is the Board’s opt out motion which will allow clubs to choose to not submit their per capita member number. 

From, “Important Message from CFUW National President, Kathryn Wilkinson, Dec 9, 2020”, confirms:

As background, dues in both CFUW and GWI are calculated on a per capita basis. Per Capita dues is a calculation used to determine the total amount of dues owed. 

The MOU Background states: 

The constitutional requirement of CFUW’s membership in GWI (Article4) and GWI’s definition of membership for the purposes of dues calculation (Articles II.1 and X.32) were part of the discussions but constitutional changes were beyond the mandate of the Negotiation Committees and the constitutional relationship between CFUW and GWI remains unchanged. 

There is no mandate in the MOU to renegotiate CFUW’s constitutional relationship with GWI with regard to per capita requirements. If we do not honour the MOU by paying the required dues by the required deadline, CFUW will break the conditions of the MOU and put CFUW in jeopardy of losing the financial benefits to CFUW negotiated in the MOU.

Continuing in its efforts to address the divide in CFUW members, the Board last spring organized a Mediation Working Group (MWG) to address healing the differences within CFUW bringing together club members from each side of the divide. The Principles that informed the MWG recommendations were:

  • The recommendation will be designed to hold our organization together and honour regional strengths and differences while recognizing the challenges faced in each region.
  • The recommendation will meet the needs of members through a solution that is fair to all members including Clubs and individual members in Canada while taking into account the impact of our decision on women in the National Federations and Associations of GWI that look to us for support.
  • The recommendation will be forward looking rather than a review of the past and will be designed to generate thoughtful dialogue among CFUW members.
  • The recommendation will ensure that any decision to withdraw membership in GWI, or any other options for international support, is made after respectful and democratic processes of decision-making among all Clubs and members of CFUW.
  • The recommendation must acknowledge and demonstrate that CFUW is a grassroots, democratic, representative organization and each Club is itself a grassroots, democratic, representative organization; that is, members of Clubs elect representatives to deliberate at Annual General Meetings and make decisions as a representative of the wishes of the Club members.

The only unanimous agreement from the Mediation Working Group was the importance of CFUW continuing as a unified, strong, cohesive organization and the need for a communications strategy to heal the divide. 

The subsequent Mediation Report reiterated the need to honour the MOU to its completion date. Since then the Board quickly set up a Mediation Report Implementation Committee to continue to address the concerns within CFUW clubs. 

As well, time is needed to ensure that information is provided on the impact of any dues revisions by GWI as agreed by all NFAs and the impact this will have on the Clubs who do not opt out. For this to happen, CFUW needs to meet the payment of GWI dues in accordance with the MOU.