WASHINGTON — Bowing to the pressures that come with a recession,CUNA has laid off eight employees and eliminated merit increasesfor senior staff members.
CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said these changes will result in“significant savings” to the trade association, which has a $56million annual budget and 270 full-time equivalent employees.
“Our combined actions so far have enabled CUNA to bring ouryear-end 2008 budget into balance and be better prepared for anyhigher-than-anticipated revenue shortfall,” he added.
Six of the employees are in the association's Madison, Wis.,offices, while two are in its Washington, D.C., headquarters. Thecuts are in human resources, information technology,sales/marketing and the library staffs.
The association is continuing a selective hiring freeze that beganlast year and has eliminated merit increases for senior staffmembers. They have also reduced staff travel and more closelymonitored outside contracts.
CUNA said it is not planning to eliminate any of its conferences,though plans to use Webinars and conference calls more often.
Neither NAFCU or NASCUS are planning staff or salary freezes, butboth said they would be cutting expenses.
NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker said the group has been planningconservatively, knowing that revenues could be off “because 2009will be difficult for our members.”
He said in light of those conditions, it has frozen conference feesat 2008 levels. Also, the association has built up a cash reserveand owns its headquarters' building in Arlington, Va., free andclear
NAFCU has 67 full-time equivalent employees and an annual budget of$11.5 million. The group
had 813 members at the end of 2008, compared with 809 at the end of2007.
Becker said he encouraged staff to watch expenses and revieweverything they are doing with a “do I need to do that?”
He said the association has made contingency plans if the economygets even worse but said those don't include layoffs or a hiring orsalary freeze.
NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney said while herassociation, which has 10 full-time equivalent employees and a $2million budget, is in “sound financial shape,” it is changing partsof its operations to reflect reductions in state spending.
While attendance at training sessions has remained steady, thegroup is doing more Webinars and holding training sessions onsite.
Next month, approximately 40 credit union executives and regulatorsare scheduled to attend a compliance school in California, whichwill save attendees from surrounding states the costs of around-trip, cross-country plane ticket.
“Because we are small, we can be more nimble,” she said.
During the group's next quarterly meeting with state regulators, itplans to discuss whether there should be additional trainingsessions outside the Washington area.
Trade associations have been tightening their belts throughoutWashington, and those that have reduced payroll have made cuts of10% or less, mostly through attrition, said John H. Graham IV,president/CEO of the American Society of AssociationExecutives.
He also said most associations are being certain not to curb-andmany are even increasing-their advocacy efforts.
“Given the new administration and new Congress, everyone wants todo things that provide unique benefits to their members and thatincludes lobbying,” he said. “There's going to be a lot going onhere, and everyone wants to be well represented, even if they dothat at the expense of other areas.”
Many of the trade associations that have been hurt have been thoseaffected by the collapse of the housing industry.
The Mortgage Bankers Association lost 17% of its members last yearand cut 20% of its staff. The National Association of MortgageBrokers lost 20% of its members last year and reduced its staff by16%.
But John Hall of the American Bankers
Association said his organization has no plans to lay off anyone,reduce staff by attrition or freeze salaries.
He said there was some attrition when his group merged withAmerica's Community Bankers in 2007, but since then staff levelshave remained steady.
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