Q & A: Association budget process is long and involved

November 3, 2015 Gordon Thomas, Executive Secretary

Question: Fees seem to go up every year. Are my fees going up next year?

Answer: Fees don’t go up every year. This year was the first fee increase in several years.

Fees are determined by the Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) in May each year. A draft budget is approved by Provincial Executive Council each year in January and distributed to local associations for review. The Association’s budget is a line-by-line budget, with all proposed expenses identified.

Council is currently in the midst of program planning, which precedes development of the budget. Council is considering the programs it believes should be included in the budget and setting program priorities. Finance Committee will use this information to tailor a proposed budget and to consider fee implications. The product of this dialogue is presented to Council in January.

Input to the proposed budget from local associations and members is welcome, and a budget workbook identifies highlighted programs. Responses to the budget workbook are considered by Finance Committee and Council prior to ARA. New programs are proposed in the form of a resolution at ARA and must be adopted to be included in the proposed budget. And, finally, on the floor of ARA, the proposed budget is debated, and delegates can make amendments as may be required. Once the debate is complete, the budget is adopted. The final step is for ARA to approve a fee resolution, setting the active and associate member fees.

If you have questions about the Association’s budget, feel free to discuss them with your district representative. You can also contact our chief financial officer, Janice Sledz, or me, at Barnett House. We are pleased to answer your questions. ❚

Questions for consideration in this ­column are welcome. Please address them to Gordon Thomas at Barnett House (gordon.thomas@ata.ab.ca).


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