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Dues Assessment to Begin Aug. 26
By Jimmy Warden
In the previous two issues of The Postal Supervisor, NAPS published minutes from the Executive Board meetings held over the past few months. At our spring 2023 Executive Board meeting, I presented the FY23-24 budget for the period June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024.
The budget was discussed at multiple board Zoom meetings. At the May 30 meeting, a motion passed to levy a special assessment. I would like to bring you up to date on where our finances stand and the reason for the assessment.
First and foremost, NAPS is not in a dire financial situation and remains financially stable. The Executive Board is ensuring NAPS’ ability to move forward and continue to offer our members the best representation.
Our new fiscal year budget has projected expenses of $4,856,974; income for the same period from projected dues is $2,305,455. Other miscellaneous income is projected at $12,508.00. NAPS needs to withdraw $2,539,011 from our investments to cover the projected expenses.
In the past, our investment gains have allowed us to withdraw funds to cover expenses. Over the past two years, our investment portfolio has not had the gains it has had over the past 10 years. Our portfolio manager/adviser from PNC Bank addressed the board at the spring meeting. She reported that projections indicate the market will not return to the bull market it previously experienced. As a result, the Executive Board is taking actions necessary to sustain financial stability going forward.
In addition to our investment portfolio not earning the same returns as in the past, we continue to face challenges in renting the vacant space at NAPS Headquarters, 1727 and 1729 King Street. Currently, the commercial vacancy rate in Old Town, Alexandria, is 12.7%. This is the lowest vacancy rate compared to surrounding areas.
Many commercial buildings in Old Town are converting to residential properties. It would be extremely costly for NAPS to consider this option. We would need approval from the City of Alexandria, then with the King Street MetroPlace Owners Association (KSMPOA).
If it even were approved, which would entail affiliated costs, the cost of renovating the building to a residential property would be enormous. Adding new plumbing, reconfiguring the electrical wiring and floor layout and establishing rooms and entranceways alone would entail tremendous costs.
Increasing membership is critical, but is not the sole answer. If the dues per capita remained at $3.50 per pay period and NAPS signed all 10,000 nonmembers, NAPS would add $910,000 a year. Signing nonmembers would have a positive impact on our financials, but would not fully resolve the need for more income.
As you have read the board minutes published in the June and July issues of The Postal Supervisor, as well as the June 6 meeting minutes published in this issue, the Executive Board has taken measures to reduce expenses by passing motions and recommendations. On June 6, it also was decided to change the effective date of the assessment previously approved to begin on July 1, 2023, to now become effective on Aug. 26, 2023.
This change was made in order to give branches the opportunity to review their financials to ascertain if the assessment could be absorbed or an increase in dues is needed. For a branch to increase its dues, if not stated in its branch Constitution & Bylaws, the branch must hold a meeting and a motion be passed by the body.
The assessment of $2 per active member and $1 per associate member per pay period will begin Aug. 26, 2023, and remain in effect until Oct. 4, 2024. Therefore, the assessment will be in effect for the September 2023 DCO, which branches will receive in October 2023. A resolution requesting an increase in the per-capita dues will be submitted at our 2024 National Convention. NAPS delegates at the convention will decide because a permanent per-capita dues increase is a constitutional change and must be approved by attending delegates.
I have been receiving calls from some branches asking why there was not a gradual increase starting two years ago. In response, please realize there was not a need to raise the per capita or an assessment at that time. As I stated earlier in this column, this is exactly what the Executive Board now is doing—preparing for the upcoming years.
For the Executive Board to request this assessment with the investment portfolio we had two years ago would have been a difficult ask. The previous per-capita dues increase took effect Jan. 5, 2005. Even with this assessment and the budget reductions made by the Executive Board, we still are looking at withdrawing approximately $1,358,007 from our investments to cover anticipated expenses for this fiscal year.
I hope this gives a better understanding as to why the assessment is needed at this time. I assure you your Executive Board is working diligently and fully exercising their fiduciary responsibilities for the betterment of the association.
Remember, increasing membership demonstrates leadership. Stay safe!