January, 2001

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Background Offered
on Honorarium Proposal

In 1998 APEGGA Council considered the requirement to provide some sort of honorarium to future presidents. This compensation might be available either to the president or to his/her employer to compensate for lost revenues resulting from attending to responsibilities as APEGGA president. It is hoped that this initiative might create the opportunity for members, who would otherwise not be in a position to do so, to offer themselves for nomination to this important position in the service of our professions.

At the 1999 Annual General Meeting a proposal to provide for such an honorarium was tabled for further debate and stakeholder input. Subsequently, Council appointed a task force to fully consider all aspects of this proposal. The task force reported to Council in September 2000 that, in recognition of the leadership provided by the president of APEGGA, some form of honorarium is appropriate. It made three recommendations:

First, that a subcommittee consisting of two recent past presidents, Dan Motyka, P.Eng. and Darrel Danyluk, P.Eng., together with the executive director, should be charged with receiving stakeholder input from a broad cross section of the membership.

Second, that the Governance Committee of Council should review the role and responsibilities of the president and make recommendations on the appropriate roles for the president and executive director.

Third, that a subcommittee, comprised of the public members on Council together with such additional persons from the general public as they deem necessary, should consider and recommend an appropriate form and amount for an honorarium.

The Governance Committee has considered the roles and responsibilities of the president and is recommending to Council that they are appropriate and also that the division of responsibilities between the president and the executive director is correct and should remain unchanged. Meetings to receive stakeholder input from a broad cross section of the membership are being scheduled.

During the past year or so members have raised a number of questions concerning this proposal. The following are some of the more frequently asked questions and answers to them.

Q: Why is an honorarium being considered now when many very capable presidents have served in the past without any form of compensation?

Past presidents have all provided tremendous service to our professions and have done so willingly, although some of them endured financial losses. APEGGA has changed rapidly in recent years and members are demanding even more change. This change has seen APEGGA become more pro-active especially in the areas of building relationships with government, business and the general public, national issues with CCPE/CCPG and sister associations, as well as national and international mobility negotiations.

Q: What demands has this placed on the president's time?

The demand on the president's time has increased accordingly to an estimated 50 per cent of the normal work year, including a considerable number of nights and weekends away from the family home.

Q: What is the president's key function on behalf of the membership?

The president is the chief spokesperson for APEGGA and provides leadership to our members and to society in general. As the largest professional association in Alberta, APEGGA is often a role model for other associations and an example of what professionalism and ethics means.

Q: How will an honorarium help?

An honorarium will do two things. First, it will eliminate some of the financial disincentives faced by members and/or their employers resulting from productive time lost. Second, it will enable many other members, particularly younger members who may not yet have established financial independence or whose employer is not in a position to support them, to offer themselves for nomination.

Q: Has there been a problem identifying willing candidates?

Each year the Nominating Committee selects a list of potential candidates to be approached to run for office. This year seventeen candidates were identified and, from this prioritized list, only two candidates accepted nomination initially.

Q: Would an honorarium have made a difference?

We estimate that about six of the candidates who declined would have accepted if an honorarium were available to compensate them or their employer for the financial burden.

Q: What kind of an honorarium is being considered and how much?

If it is decided to proceed with an honorarium the subcommittee of public members will determine the form and amount for any honorarium to be made available.

Q: What do other similar associations provide to their presidents?

Compensation varies in both the amount and the form. In some cases it is a straight honorarium, in other cases it is a combination of lump sum honorarium to compensate for miscellaneous expenses plus compensation for revenue loss based on either lump sum or per diem, provision of a vehicle and other benefits.

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