At its meeting in November the National Executive Committee considered what levels of subscriptions to set for 2015. In reaching our conclusions the following points were taken into account:
- Previous advice from the Honorary Treasurer that one further year’s above inflation increase in subscription levels for full members was likely to be needed to ensure that the Association’s finance’s show a reasonable surplus from 2015 onwards.
- The significant contribution of advertising revenue to our likely small surplus in 2014 and the unpredictability of this source of income in the future given the fact of a general election in 2015 and the prospect, whoever is elected, of a further squeeze on local government finance which is likely to mean less educational posts being advertised over the next couple of years.
- The success of our agreement with Thompson’s in reducing our legal fees bill from £240K in 2013 to approximately £100K in 2014 with the possibility of these fees being a little lower in 2015 as all our outstanding work with Irwin Mitchell should by then be concluded.
- The expressed wish of NEC members to significantly reduce fees for trainee members given the fall off in membership in this category largely as a result of the vast majority of trainees now receiving bursaries rather than salaries.
- The previously agreed view of the NEC that fixed income (mainly subscriptions) should account for approximately 85% of our expenditure each year. This year in the first 9 months we met this target.
- The need to rebuild the Association’s reserves after several successive years of losses. They are now approximately £450K having been well in excess of £1million pounds 5 years ago.
- The expressed wish of the Representatives Annual Conference that we seek to employ additional professional staff in the future.
The NEC therefore agreed the following fee levels for 2015 (2014 fees are given for comparison)
Full Members £270 £264
Affiliate Members £147 £144
Trainee Members £48 £96
Retired Members £42 £40