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  • mlbrown

    mlbrown Sept. 18, 2001, 1:59 p.m. (Message 27405)

    Re: RSCDS restructure AGM motion

    Greetings Andrew
    The trouble is that "the devil is in the detail".
    When discussing this at the Exec we were faced with two "new" facts
    1) If we did nothing we were asked to support a motion that the annual subs
    should be increased from the current level to £15 -
    2) If we went for a 2 tier system, no-one was prepared to put forward a
    detailed financial model - what they were prepared to say was that the
    lo-cost membership, (membership of the local association, receiving just a
    membership card) would be at least £4 or £5 plus the local association
    fee. - The high cost version (your HQ members) appeared to be anywhere in
    the £15 to £25 region, and would continue to receive a book and a bulletin.
    At the moment the printing cost of the books and bulletins works out at
    about 50p each, and the postage a similar amount (at least it did according
    to some minutes a couple of years ago) - so currently members receive circa
    £2 of value for £8.50 of subscription, which I think is a pretty good deal
    for the Society. Of course receiving £4 for nothing more than a piece of
    cardboard is a better deal, but I personally feel there is something
    unethical about it.  We have tried to find out from our members what
    application forms they wish to receive (Day School, Weekend School 1,
    Weekend School 2, Step School), but find that this is almost impossible to
    work properly - people are unable to tick the correct box, and forget to
    return forms. So if the local association was to try to obtain books and
    bulletins for those of its members who wanted them, they would get the
    numbers very wrong. But of course the Society would still be producing them,
    and the print runs would be smaller, so the cost per item would almost
    certainly rise. Those who were members of HQ would expect to receive their
    books directly, with an increased associated cost - it must be cheaper to
    send a box of 100 items to one address rather than 100 individual items to
    100 different addresses. It would appear to me that the solution you are
    currently proposing would actually cost more, which in a cost saving
    exercise is ridiculous. Being able to buy books from the Society at a
    favourable member rate (? £2.50) does little to compensate for what they are
    about to lose.
    I'm sorry, but cost saving can be achieved in several ways which have
    nothing to do with changing the conditions of membership.
    1) We can do those things which cost money more slowly, i.e. defer some of
    the spending
    2) We can change the management structure into a regionalised system, with a
    central management group of much reduced size.
    (regionalised meetings of smaller numbers / (Overseas reps as now, but
    attending whichever local meeting was convenient) - central reps to actually
    represent a group of local associations, each central representative also
    being equivalent to circa 1,000 members)
    3) We can work to budgets, not giving people the ability to overspend at
    will and then report back to people when it is too late.
    4) We can appoint project managers, with defined terms of reference,
    timescales, and fixed budgets, together with a regular reporting mechanism.
    The other thing we can do is find ways of increasing our income from
    non-members of the Society - with the current LA /branch structure and
    organisation, most of the fund raising activities of Society members
    contributes funds to the LA / branches not the Society (Day Schools,
    Displays, Shows etc).  There are many activities which through some sort of
    central organisation could be organised and raise money - the public will
    pay to see SCD, especially if it part of a show. We have musicians and
    singers etc.  We have skilled teachers and M.C.s who can organise ceilidhs.
    We could even organise "Team Building" / "Listening Skills" / "Leadership
    Training" courses if we put our minds to it, and get businesses to give us
    money in return. If these were organised by "the Society", then the profit
    could go into central funds.
    Why do I object to paying more for what I get? Because I think I already pay
    out enough, - for classes, club, Day Schools, Weekend Schools, Summer
    School. Why do I object to the proposal for others to pay more - because I
    think the risk of destroying the Society by such a move is significant. Why
    do I object to the proposal for others to pay less and receive nothing?
    Because I am convinced that it also risks the destruction of the Society.
    The Society can afford to lose money for many years, as it has significant
    reserves - I do not believe it can survive a major loss of members.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Andrew Smith" <xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxx.xx.xx>
    To: <>
    Sent: Monday, September 17, 2001 6:09 PM
    Subject: RSCDS restructure AGM motion
    > Anselm has kindly agreed to my using the good services of the Strathspey
    > server to advertise the motion which Bristol Branch is putting before the
    > AGM of the Society in November. I hope this is not too long.
    > Bristol Branch/Local Association proposes to amend its original motion to
    > the following:
    > "That Bristol Branch of the RSCDS proposes that this AGM approves the
    > amendments (attached below) to the Draft Revised Constitution and Rules of
    > the Society (already circulated) as will enable implementation of the
    > following principles concerning the Management and Membership of the
    > Society:
    > 1 That the present management structure of the RSCDS is replaced by a
    > Management Board and other Committees as described in the report of the
    > General Purposes Committee presented to the Executive Council on 12 May
    > 2001.
    > 2  That membership of the Society may be as a Member at HQ and/or of a
    > Branch/Local Association.
    > 3 (a) That every fully paid up Member of the RSCDS at HQ shall have the
    > right to vote at General Meetings, and to elect such Members to the
    > Management Board and Standing Committees of the Society at HQ;
    > (b) That a Branch Convention be convened annually to provide a forum for
    > Branch members to discuss issues affecting the Branches and put forward
    > proposals to the Management Board of the Society at HQ.
    > 4  That all Members of the Society at HQ should pay their subscriptions
    > direct to HQ, and all Branches/Local Associations should make an annual
    > donation to HQ proportionate to the numbers of Branch/Local Association
    > members which they have (exclusive of Members at HQ), the annual
    > subscription and donation amounts to be set by the Society at HQ AGM.
    > The philosophy which underlies our approach is to ensure that all eligible
    > people who wish to be regarded as subscribing members of the RSCDS may be
    > so, making payment for membership in accordance with their level of
    > and/or means. The main issue is that all members will be eligible to apply
    > for places at the Schools and purchase Society publications, recordings,
    > accessories etc at members' discount without distinction, as they all
    > support the Society. The principal difference will be that rights to vote
    > for and participate in the management of the Society will only attach to
    > those subscribing as Members of the Society at HQ. Such Members may, in
    > addition, choose to be members of a Branch as well as HQ Members.
    > There is some concern that Branches will feel the loss of their Branch
    > Representatives, resulting in a lessening in the relationship between
    > Branches and HQ. The reality of the structure now is such that the
    > are legally separate bodies. In recognition of that independence it is
    > proposed that there is no mandatory requirement for any member of a Branch
    > to also be a Member of the Society at HQ. In order to maintain the
    > relationship between Branches and Society HQ it is proposed there will be
    > Branch Convention, which members of Branches may attend. Branch Members
    > also attend the Society AGM as observers, and of course Branches could
    > issues of concern with the Society at any time, as licence holders.
    > We are also looking for the original smaller Management Board with 6
    > members in addition to the Officers and Committee Convenors, rather than
    > 18 currently proposed by the Exec.
    > I have not appended the proposed constitutional changes to implement the
    > above, which form part of the motion. Anselm has offered space on the web
    > site for a longer submission, if people are interested. I will do my best
    > answer any points, and would welcome your views, and some indication of,
    > hopefully, support. Thank you for your patience.
    > Andrew.

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