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Thread: Unified Fee

  1. #1
    Participating Member
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    Oct 2003
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    Unified Fee

    Unified Fee

    I thought it may be a good idea to start a discussion about the Unified Fee. What are the pros and cons?

    There was little discussion last year at convention. This fee will be voted on at the virtual USMS Annual meeting this year. It looks as if there will be no discussion this year due to the virtual nature and set-up of the convention.

    Even though the Unified Fee was not voted on by the HOD last year, a registration opt-in ability ($60) was "offered" by the BOD for this year which set the LMSC fees for those that opted in at $15, but a mandatory $3 went back to USMS. This increase in the individual USMS registration fee appears to bypass the HOD. Later this year, apparently due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a modified year-end fee was enacted in June. Members can join for the rest of this year and next year for the $60 Unified Fee. The Florida LMSC registration fee is currently $8 and Florida voted against both proposals.

    Here are some of the pros and cons that I see:

    Pros:

    1. USMS will have one registration fee making life easier for USMS. However, USMS has just put forth a survey to find out what benefits they can offer to members for them to pay more for membership - I'm assuming on an individual basis (?) so that negates the "life easier for USMS" idea.

    2. USMS will see a "$3 increase per member" in registration fee income.

    3. Some LMSCs will see an increase in their registration fee income.

    Cons:

    1. USMS individual registration fee will increase.

    2. Some LMSCs will see an increase in their registration fee income that they don't need.

    3. Some LMSCs will see a decrease in their registration fee income which will decrease their ability to service their members. The cost of living is not equal across the United States..

    4. All LMSCs will lose their ability to raise OR lower their registration fees.

    Questions:

    1. In future years, will the National Office be able to control how much of the total fee is distributed to the LMSCs? The proposed amount for now is 20% ($12.00 out of a total $60.00 membership fee).

    2. In a future year would it be possible for the National Office to decide to retain 95% of the fee ($57.00) and distribute 5% ($3.00) to the LMSCs?

    3. How are Club Fees going to be handled by USMS?

  2. #2
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Unified Fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Meegan Wilson View Post
    Unified Fee

    Questions:

    1. In future years, will the National Office be able to control how much of the total fee is distributed to the LMSCs? The proposed amount for now is 20% ($12.00 out of a total $60.00 membership fee).

    2. In a future year would it be possible for the National Office to decide to retain 95% of the fee ($57.00) and distribute 5% ($3.00) to the LMSCs?

    3. How are Club Fees going to be handled by USMS?
    Answers:

    1. No, the National Office will not be able to control how much of the total fee is distributed to the LMSCs. The membership fees and distributions will continue to be determined in accordance with our Financial Operating Guidelines.

    2. No. See answer to question 1.

    3. Club membership fees and Workout Group fees should be handled as they are being handled today.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member SwimDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Unified Fee

    When is a unified fee not a unified fee:

    1. When clubs can still set their own surcharges on top the unified fee.

    2. When USMS implements an a la carte menu of benefits or bundles them together for tier level pricing. Based on the recent survey, it is clear that a Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels of membership are being considered.

    3. Technically, the National Office does not "control" how much of total fee is distributed to the LMSCs. The National Office does, however, "manage" the BOD which in turn "socializes" the idea with the membership who then vote at the HOD.

    If you can't build actual membership (see Rob Copeland's Forum thread from 2010 "What does USMS need to do to grow to 100,000+ members"), a way of increasing revenue is to charge more to the declining membership. I believe the survey was a further step in "socializing" the idea before implementing it.

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