IMPORTANT - CFUW President's Message July 19, 2019 - Memorandum of Understanding Between CFUW and GWI

20 Jul 2019 3:59 PM | Barbara Newbegin (Administrator)

Message from the President

July 19, 2019

President’s Message
Grace Hollett, CFUW National President

Please forward to all CFUW Club members.

I am delighted to bring you news that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed by the CFUW and GWI negotiating teams has been signed, with terms favourable to CFUW, and is in effect until Dec. 31, 2022. 
Background and Thanks

The Negotiating Team consisted of Joy Hurst, VP International and chair;  Kathryn Wilkinson, Acting President and VP Education; Dominique Racanelli, VP Finance;  Robin Jackson, CFUW Executive Director: and myself, Grace Hollett, as National President. With Board approval, CFUW initiated negotiations, to address areas of concern between our two organizations, to agree on specific areas of collaboration, and to re-negotiate the dues formula and payment terms for CFUW. Due diligence by all has produced results and I thank the teams on both sides who acted in a spirit of collaboration and good faith. I thank, also, the CFUW Board whose considerable input helped bring us to a satisfactory conclusion, CFUW office staff for research, and you the Club members who exercised admirable patience in waiting for news of negotiations.
The MOU indicates the willingness of both parties to collaborate and strengthen cooperation, to recognize existing problems and to set up a plan for dealing with them and, subject to its termination provisions, to be legally bound by the terms of this Agreement.
Areas of Collaboration Include

  • Member Relations: CFUW proposed and GWI accepted that we will collaborate on developing and testing an electronic platform for National Federation and Association's (NFA) dialogue and consultation to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas, discussion on leading or emerging practices and access to presentations by an international pool of subject matter experts. Additionally, GWI will convene a committee with representatives from all GWI regional areas to facilitate ongoing discussion and foster understanding among regional groups about regional priorities and issues of common interest.
  • Global Advocacy for Women and Girls; CFUW will continue to support GWI’s Education Advocacy agenda for Women and Girls by sharing CFUW research on selected issues within CFUW’s areas of focus and will also support written statements prepared by GWI for presentation to UN bodies when they also reflect the interests and areas of focus for CFUW. GWI will collaborate with CFUW to increase our international advocacy footprint with UN agencies where GWI has onsite representation or partnership relationship and these relate to CFUW interests.
  • Projects: Together we will review Bina Roy projects and decide which could be scaled up, to continue beyond their one-year funding period.
  • Communications and Promotion: Agreement was reached on promotion of publications and information in a timely manner.
  • Membership: GWI will share its recruitment model and knowledge base with CFUW.
  • Financial Management and Sharing Information: GWI has agreed to full transparency by providing quarterly financial statements within 30 days, publishing their accounting standards, providing annual budgets, timely updates on partnerships/alliances, and freeing the Canadian Assistant GWI treasurer to speak openly to the CFUW Board on GWI financial issues. We welcome this commitment to a fuller accountability.

Reduction of CFUW’s Dues to GWI

Prior to July 16th and the signing of the MOU, CFUW had an unpaid balance for 2018 and 2019 relating to the CHF 6 per capita increase.
With the signing if the MOU, GWI agreed to receive the unpaid balances of our uncollected dues in two forms, 1. in-kind services/collaborative work, and 2. financial payment. The details for each of 2018 and 2019 are as follows:
  • For 2018, CFUW’s total increase in dues was CHF 48,564 based on 8094 members.  GWI and CFUW have agreed to value CFUW’s in- kind services at CHF 23,465. CFUW owed GWI a payment of CHF 25,099. Of this amount, GWI has already received CHF 13,306.50. For 2018, CFUW owes GWI a payment of CHF 11,792.  A zero-balance invoice will be provided to CFUW when this payment is made.
  • For 2019, CFUW’s total increase in dues is CHF 45,546 based on 7591 members. CFUW’s in-kind services are valued at CHF 22,014. CFUW owes GWI a payment of CHF 23,532. A zero-balance invoice will be provided to CFUW when this payment is made placing CFUW in good standing with voting privileges at the 2019 GWI Triennium
Arrangements have been made to pay on July 19th the difference between the amount owing and the amount being credited for in-kind services (i.e. the discount). Following from the two bulleted paragraphs above for 2018 and 2019, this calculates to CHF 23, 532 + CHF 11,792, totaling CHF 35,324 or CAD $ 49,454 if the exchange rate is 1.4. Note that, as a GWI member CFUW was assessed dues and this debt must be paid eventually. As long as CFUW is a GWI member dues will be assessed. This opportunity for a reduced payment is to CFUW’s advantage. Without the amount being reduced paying the full amount was quite problematic. With the payment, CFUW maintains its voting privileges at the GWI Triennial, but this was not the reason for paying the debt.
In order to fully resolve the outstanding amount remaining unpaid from the 2018 and 2019 years the board voted in support of a “one-time only” use of approximately CDN $49,454 from our unrestricted reserve, contingent on GWI signing the agreement on the reduced amount.
Although using the CFUW unrestricted reserve at a precarious time is not ideal, the CFUW board recognizes the financial obligation attached to GWI membership. Carrying an unpaid balance for another year would not be recommended business practice.

Additionally, this reduced payment plan continues to the end of the 2022 dues cycle.
GWI has agreed to review its dues model, and also its voting structure to ensure an appropriately enhanced reflection of CFUW’s membership numbers. Reporting back on those issues must be done at least 6 months before the 2022 GWI General Assembly (GA).
Future actions

The identified collaborative activities will be summarized by documentation and managed by a project management approach with specific deliverables, timeframes and articulated responsibilities.  Agreement on oversight, modification of the MOU, dispute resolution and events leading to termination of the agreement has been reached.
What has not been solved?

1. The constitutional requirement of CFUW’s membership in GWI (CFUW Article 4) and GWI’s definition of membership for the purposes of dues calculation (Articles II.1 and X.3 of the GWI Constitution), were part of the discussions but constitutional changes were beyond the mandate of the Negotiation Committees and consequently the constitutional relationship between CFUW and GWI remains unchanged. These constitutional issues must be resolved prior to the end of this agreement, December 31, 2022.
2GWI Dues for 2020
Dominique Racanelli, in her role as VP Finance, thanks all who contributed to the voluntary payments, an updated copy of which will be posted, and alerts you to the following:
The January 2020 invoice we will receive from GWI will again be assessed at 21. 5 CHF per capita.  In spring 2019, CFUW collected dues from Clubs at the defined rate of CHF 15.5  due to the fact that at the CFUW June 2018 AGM, CFUW members once again rejected a dues increase.  Although the MOU will again provide CFUW a discount to the full 2020 invoice, this credit will not be enough to cover the anticipated invoice.  We do not know the shortfall as it depends on membership numbers at December 31, 2019,  but estimate it at approximately CHF 23,535 or CAD $32,950 at a 1.4 exchange rate.  
 If the proposed GWI dues increase is accepted by the membership at our August AGM, the increase will be collected to meet the 2021 GWI invoice, not the 2020 payment.”
She estimates that “on average more than 300 women hours were  provided by individual members of the Negotiating Committee and the CFUW Executive Director for research, analysis and written recommendations provided to GWI,” with  well in excess of this being expended by the chair and president. She further reiterates “This consultative work was well received by GWI and assessed at in-kind value in the amount of CHF 23,465 for the year 2018 and  CHF 22,014 for year 2019” 
Ms. Racanelli states relative to the projected dues for 2020, “At this point we need to ask and must depend on CFUW membership to provide a new solution.”

The Negotiating Team is pleased that this period of negotiations has concluded. We realize, however,  that much remains to be done to activate some of the MOU provisions. We look to you to help find a solution to additional funds needed for the 2020 GWI dues.  
Importantly, we need to ensure financial stability of CFUW as a national organization 
Thank you again for your cooperation during this process,
Grace Hollett

National President-Presidénte Nationale


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