Much is Happening In APEGGA
With Passing of New Budget
BY NEIL WINDSOR, P.ENG.
Rather than deal with one topic in detail I thought that I should make
brief comments on some of the current issues being dealt with on your
behalf by APEGGA.
Relevance Is Major Issue
In New APEGGA Budget
The big news in this edition of the PEGG will be the approval of the 2001
budget and the $20 increase in member fees. The business plan, Framework
For Action 2000-2010, approved by Council in September and the budget
both reflect a considerable amount of work by several task forces of Council,
and by Council and staff, over the last two years in particular.
One of the key issues identified was relevance of APEGGA to members and
those who should be member. There's also a lack of awareness about our
association, about why we regulate the professions and what the value
is to members. As well, enforcement of the protected title and exclusive
scope of practice provisions of the EGGP Act are not generally well understood.
In short, while there is much room for improvement in all these areas,
we have a serious lack of communication about what it is we actually do,
leading to the "perception" that value is limited.
Special Effort Planned
In Several Communications Areas
In a concentrated effort to address this problem, the budget contains
resources to increase communication programs directed specifically at
individuals that might be practicing but who are either qualified but
not licensed or are practicing but are not qualified. Initial emphasis
will be on the information technology sector and will, in part, be in
the form of information sessions with individuals and companies working
in the high-tech industries.
As well, renewed liaison has been established with geoscience organizations
and we are optimistic that we can demonstrate real value to that sector
as well. Funding has also been provided to add an assistant director of
communications to allow more opportunity for dialogue with industries
in all sectors through direct corporate visits and corporate receptions.
This being the first increase in member fees for two years, in addition
to the major issues cited above, the additional revenues will cover: incremental
increases in normal operating costs; usual salary increases based on merit
and the addition of a manager of member services and corporate affairs;
increases in office rental costs and overheads and other routine expenses,
as well as some capital allowance for replacement of computers and other
APEGGA fees remain among the lowest of any provincial/territorial engineering
and geoscience association, and well below fees charged by most other
professional and trade associations in Alberta.
More Mobility Funding
To Help Develop Agreements
Members have identified mobility for professionals as one of the more
significant issues. Consequently, additional funding has been made available
to increase our activities in seeking bilateral agreements with certain
U.S. states and supporting the work of CCPE in international negotiations.
During the past two years, Council has made tremendous progress toward
securing our first bi-lateral agreement, yet much remains to be done this
year. In conjunction with our Annual General Conference to be held in
Calgary, we will host a mobility forum, on April 28, 2001, to which all
western states and western provinces/territories as well as CCPE and our
U.S. counterparts have been invited.
We are optimistic that this initiative by APEGGA will be the catalyst
that leads to greatly improved relations with our southern neighbours
and greatly improved mobility for professionals from both countries.
Task Force Reports
On President's Honorarium
The Honorarium Task Force reported to Council in September and has recommended
three initiatives to further evaluate the proposal to provide some sort
of honorarium for APEGGA presidents. Theses are outlined elsewhere in
this edition of the PEGG and on the website.
Key among these is the need for stakeholder input and a sub-committee
has been struck to meet with interested groups and receive comment. Meetings
with past presidents have been scheduled and meetings with the Calgary
Branch and Edmonton District are being planned.
The branches have been invited to submit comment or to arrange meetings
in the branch with stakeholders. Other meetings are being considered and
interested persons or groups are invited to send comment by mail or e-mail
to either APEGGA office.
And Thanks for the Help
In closing, on behalf of the management and staff of APEGGA, I wish to
extend a very sincere thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who have
given so generously of their time and expertise to the many boards, committees
and task forces that do the work necessary for us to fulfill the obligation
we have been given through the EGGP Act, to protect public safety and
interest. Our 34,000 members and the public of Alberta have been well
and truly served by your significant contribution.
And to all members, your families and friends, and all who we have the
pleasure of working with during the year and those we serve, a very Merry
Christmas and sincere best wishes for every success and much happiness
in the New Year.