APA/CPA Dues Agreement: Update

APA’s Proposal to Change its Dues Agreements with Fraternal Associations:
Implications for Members of the CPA

UPDATE March 1, 2011

In January of this year we were in touch with you, a CPA member who has also identified yourself as a member of the APA, to let you know about a motion that was going to be brought before the APA Council of Representatives in February 2011. This motion proposed a $40 decrease in APA regular member dues ($287.00 to $247.00) and it also called for all dues agreements that APA had with its fraternal associations to be rescinded. CPA is one of APA’s fraternal associations and, as you know, has had a dues agreement with the APA for decades. The implications of this motion would be that residents of Canada who are members of CPA and currently pay $143.50 in APA dues (50% of the current regular member rate of $287) would see their dues increase to $247.00 (an increase of $103.50). 

CPA’s President (Dr. Peter Graf) and its Executive Director (since re-named to Chief Executive Officer) (Dr. Karen Cohen) attended the February meeting of the APA’s Council of Representatives (CoR) to ask them to vote down the motion. We had opportunities to formally address the CoR as well as several of their caucuses and engaged in multiple conversations on the topic with individual members of the CoR. CPA was joined in this effort by the provincial representatives who sit on the CoR (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia).

CPA’s messages to the CoR were as follows:

  • Membership in the APA is of value to 1100 members of CPA who have enjoyed the dues reduction for decades and they do not want to see their membership dues increase by over $100 US.
  • CPA is not equivalent in status to other of APA partner associations with whom it has dues agreements. CPA and APA share a common provenance in that the APA was essentially a North American association founded by academics from Canadian and American universities in 1892.
  • The end of the dues agreement portends significant impacts on the membership of both associations – faced with more than $100 increase in dues, we can anticipate that some number of the 1100 CPA members who are also members of APA will lapse one of their memberships.
  • Worst case scenario for CPA would be the loss of 15% of its membership. This is a loss the CPA could not easily or readily absorb – especially in 9 months time should the motion be passed and take effect in 2012 as proposed.
  • No other of APA’s partner associations face the same magnitude of financial loss as does CPA if all dues agreements are rescinded. Because (to the best of our knowledge) none of them enjoyed a 50% dues reduction in APA membership, and because all members of APA will see their dues decrease by $40, no other association faces the same potential loss of membership when their members opt to let one or the other membership lapse because they do not want to pay $103.50 in increased APA dues.
  • We objected to the process through which the motion came to the Council floor. It is a motion that impacts an agreement with another association – an association (i.e. the CPA) which had not been engaged or consulted about the problem or a solution. 

What was the outcome? The CoR was sufficiently impacted by CPA’s representation that they voted to remove the dues agreement with CPA from the second part of the motion calling for the rescinding of APA’s agreements with its fraternal associations.

However, both items in the motion were passed. The CoR voted to decrease APA regular member dues by $40 for everyone and they voted to rescind all existing dues agreements with fraternal associations (with the exception of APA’s agreement with the CPA).

In addition, the CoR directed the governance of APA to meet with the governance of CPA for the purposes of coming to an understanding or reaching an agreement on the dues agreement.

What does it all mean? It is CPA’s opinion that by passing this motion, the APA is investing in itself rather than in its partnerships. It has opted to make it easier for psychologists to join APA rather than to support their membership in other organizations. This is certainly understandable and CPA also holds to the view that psychologists need to invest in the associations that represent them.

The difference as concerns CPA, however, is that while it might be a reasonable expectation that a US psychologist join the APA – that is the national body that represents them – one cannot have that same expectation that a Canadian psychologist join the APA. Canadian membership in APA is a value-add for the individual psychologist and the APA and not an alternative to membership in CPA.

CPA wants to continue to advocate maintaining the dues agreement for the reasons articulated. However, it is our view that the APA will not maintain it. Now that all other dues agreements have been rescinded, it is difficult to envision that the CoR will support Canadian psychologists paying $143.50 to remain members of APA while their American colleagues – no matter their other memberships – pay $247.

What’s next? The leadership of the CPA will meet with the leadership of the APA to discuss the dues agreement. This meeting will assure the CoR that there has been some due process and that the APA engaged the CPA in a discussion rather than presented us with a solution.

The CPA is willing to continue to advocate maintaining the dues agreement. To do so, it would be helpful to deepen our understanding about the needs and views of CPA members of APA when it comes to association membership. For that reason, we urge you to go to the following link (https://web.cpa.ca/surveys/index.php?sid=61954&lang=en) and complete the survey at your earliest opportunity.The survey will close on March 21st, 2011.

CPA is invested in the science and practice of Canadian psychology and we are counting on your continued support

For more information on the dues agreement or any other of CPA’s activities, please contact:
Karen R. Cohen, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Psychological Association
613-237-2144 ext. 344