I think CU Times does a good job of reporting goings on in credit union land.

However, I think youneed asharper editing pencil when it comes to telling some stories. When reporting on products and services, I think it isincumbent on you to mentionwhen theyare not available tocertain credit unions. Specifically, anything offered by CUNA carries the caveat that a credit union must pay dues to a state league in order to gain access tothose products.

I have long viewed this exclusionary practice as unfair,outside the spirit of the Rochdale Principlesand, moreover,an illegal restraint of trade.We don’t have unlimited funds. After careful research, consideration and a cost-benefit analysis, we chose to change our affiliationtoNAFCU. We were underserved by the state league.Considering theirvery expensivedues structure, we could have hired a big partof a member service representative for the cost of those dues. We have nothing but good things to say about the service and support we receive from NAFCU.And their dues structure is affordable and a fair value forgreat service and support thatwe receive.

I would like to use many of CUNA’s products and services.I consider those products and servicesas having been developed for the entire credit union community, not just those credit unions able and willingto supporta state league thatmay or maynot meeta particularmembership’s needs. If CUNA is to be true to the movement’s motto of people helping people, they need to stop being exclusionary. I would be happy to pay the modest dues CUNA was requiring when I last reviewed them, or to pay a fair,nonaffiliated price for those products and services.

It is surprising to me how often CUNA contacts me to provide data on salaries and such, expecting that I will oblige. If CUNA excludes me, why should I help them in their endeavors?(I don’t.)The same holds true for the CUNA preferred providers that solicit my business.(I explain that CUNA excludes me, and therefore, I must exclude them.) If CUNA wants to speak for the credit movement, compile data on the movement’s activities, and represent to Congress, the press and the world that they are truly a credit union national association, they must begin by including all credit unions.

Until CUNA changes, your publication should indicate that their products and services are not universally available to your readership.

John Gebhard
International Airline EFCU