Executive Board Approves Resolution for Membership Vote of Dues Restructuring
On March 22, the SIOP Executive Board unanimously approved a resolution to send a proposed dues restructuring to a vote of the membership.
The Board approved the resolution to present a dues restructuring to membership to set membership dues at $100 for professional members (Fellows, Members, Associates, and International Affiliates) and $50 for Student Affiliates and retired statuses to become effective upon majority vote of the voting membership. To read the entire resolution, click here. For more information about the dues restructuring in general, see the most recent President’s Column in TIP here.
In the resolution, the Executive Board states that it believes SIOP “needs to do more to support our growing profession and our current dues level does not provide enough resources to fund many of the important projects desired by our membership.”
“The Executive Board looked carefully at all of the input collected over the last 60 days through my.SIOP before the final proposal was put forward for a vote,” explained SIOP President Doug Reynolds. “The Board has not approached a potential dues increase lightly. We have been undertaking extensive analysis, and debate on the issue has been ongoing since last spring. We could have chosen to raise dues in smaller increments over multiple years, an approach that would not have required a member vote, but in the end we felt that approach would substantially delay access to needed funds and it would bypass important member input. We decided the best thing to do was to pose the question to the membership. Should SIOP do more? If so, we need to approve the funding to help move us forward.”
The SIOP Bylaws provide that changes to the membership dues shall be initiated by the Executive Board. In cases where the proposed increase is 15% or less, the change can be implemented by majority vote of the board. In cases where the proposed increase is more than 15%, a 60-day comment period and a majority vote of the membership are required.
Per the bylaws, only voting members may participate in the vote. This includes Members, Fellows, Retired Members, and Retired Fellows. The new dues structure will be enacted immediately if the majority of the vote is in favor.
Voting will be open for 30 days beginning Wednesday, March 27, 2013 and ending midnight Friday, April 26, 2013. Voting members will be notified of the voting procedure via email.
The dues vote has been a months-long process. At its January 2013 meeting, the SIOP Executive Board unanimously recommended a change to SIOP’s dues structure. On January 24, an email was sent to all members announcing this proposed change and inviting comments for a 60-day period. The comment period was held January 24 through March 24. During this period, members provided comments on the proposed new dues structure on my.SIOP here.
President Reynolds and President-elect Tammy Allen also posted a message to members on the SIOP website describing the proposed dues restructuring and providing several reasons for the Board’s decision to recommend a change. (Read the story on the SIOP website here.)
“There are several reasons why the Board is recommending an increase, but one reason stands above the others: we need to do more to support our growing profession, and our current dues level does not provide enough resources to fund many of the important projects desired by our membership,” explained Allen and Reynolds in their message to members.
Members have seen two dues increases in the last decade. In their article, they note that “considering the extensive and expanding member benefits SIOP now offers (and would like to continue expanding), the Executive Board does not feel the dues structure has kept pace with our needs and our growth as a profession.”
In their message, Allen and Reynolds also outlined several reasons a dues increase is needed, including:
- Limited Funding. SIOP is a conservatively managed organization. While costs and revenues tend to stay at equilibrium, flexibility to take on new initiatives is quite limited.
- More Flexibility. The Executive Board receives many requests for projects each year, many of which must be turned down, cut back, or delayed because there is no flexibility to pay for them.
- New Projects. There are several important projects under development to enhance member services and better serve the profession, such as supporting increased visibility efforts via branding, increased advocacy, and SIOP's continued effort to monitor and influence licensing legislation.
- A Growing Membership. Our growing membership is increasingly seeking more and better services that require greater funding. Several member services have been added recently, including subscriptions to Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice (IOP), Newsbriefs, and an affordable subscription rate for the member-only SIOP Research Access service, which includes access to three journal and literature databases as well as the SIOP Learning Center. We have also launched the online member community my.SIOP and are working to renovate the Consultant Locator Service to provide greater access and ease of use.
- Building External Relationships. Partnerships, such as those with the United Nations, Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, and Federation of Associations in Brain and Behavioral Sciences come at a cost to SIOP, as we need to send our members to meetings of these partner organizations if we are to advance our influence.
- Diversifying SIOP Revenue. Increased funding would help smooth and diversify the revenue stream that supports our operations. Currently an overly large percentage of our revenue comes from the annual conference. SIOP leadership has been advised that it should be less dependent on that single source of income.
SIOP leaders were also active in answering questions during the comment period and responding to comments via the my.SIOP forum, including responding to comments regarding who SIOP services benefit.
“When we have discussions about funding as well as potential new services, these discussions often include remarks on the extent that any given service benefits some members more so than others,” President-Elect Allen explained. “Given the way in which we are all interconnected and the fact that all of our services are tied to our strategic objectives, I tend to think that most, if not all of our services benefit every member in some manner.”
SIOP’s leadership also recognized the difficulties unique to student members.
“The board understands that our student members may be in the position of having little extra money around to pay for dues,” Reynolds explained. “However, students’ membership is subsidized by SIOP right now and will continue to be even under the new dues structure. Many services are geared toward students, and students use them extensively, so the Board feels that closing the gap a bit on their subsidy is appropriate and the additional $15.50 per year would probably not be an undue hardship.”
Further, students can extend their membership at the reduced level up to eighteen months after graduation.
Questions regarding the voting process can be directed to Executive Director Dave Nershi at firstname.lastname@example.org.