Split-membership option under consideration by the Admiralty Board — what’s your opinion?

by COMM Liz Woolf, Chief of Communications

At the ECAB meeting at the STARFLEET International Conference in Dallas next week, the Admiralty Board will consider a proposal to adopt a new membership rate structure. Members would have the option of an “electronic membership,” where they would receive their membership packet by mail and their issues of the Communiqué electronically, or a “print membership,” where they would receive both their membership packet and issues of the Communiqué by mail.

The “Current” column shows the current membership rates, included for comparison purposes. Under our current membership structure, US members subsidize the higher postage costs for non-US members; under the proposed structure, international members will pay the actual costs of fulfilling their memberships.

The “Remailer” column shows the new print membership rate which is being recommended to the AB for approval.  This option continues to use our international remailing service until which time that we reach the point where we are mailing so few CQs to international members that the use of this service is no longer feasible.

The “Direct Mail” column shows a print membership rate option in which the CQ is mailed out directly rather than through the remailer.  As you can see, this increases the cost significantly, however this option will reduce the time overseas members are waiting for their CQs to reach them.

The AB asked the EC to calculate a few other options:

The “Subsidized” column uses the same direct-mail service for sending the CQ to all members, however the costs are blended and a higher membership rate for US members allows a reduced rate for international members.

The “Remailer Subsidized” column uses the same International mailing service as the “Remailer” rate, but offsets the proposed rate for international members by increasing the cost for US members.

Print Membership Current Remailer Direct Mail Subsidized Remailer
Subsidized
US RESIDENT .. INDIVIDUAL $15 $20 $20 $25 $23
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (2) $22 $25 $25 $30 $28
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (3) $25 $27 $27 $32 $30
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (4) $28 $29 $29 $34 $32
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (5) $31 $31 $31 $36 $34
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (6) $34 $33 $33 $38 $36
CANADA .. INDIVIDUAL $16 $27 $32 $30 $26
CANADA .. FAMILY (2) $23 $32 $37 $35 $31
CANADA .. FAMILY (3) $26 $34 $39 $37 $33
CANADA .. FAMILY (4) $29 $36 $41 $39 $35
CANADA .. FAMILY (5) $32 $38 $43 $41 $37
CANADA .. FAMILY (6) $35 $40 $45 $43 $39
OTHER .. INDIVIDUAL $20 $30 $45 $42 $28
OTHER .. FAMILY (2) $27 $35 $50 $47 $33
OTHER .. FAMILY (3) $30 $37 $52 $49 $35
OTHER .. FAMILY (4) $33 $39 $54 $51 $37
OTHER .. FAMILY (5) $36 $41 $56 $53 $39
OTHER .. FAMILY (6) $39 $43 $58 $55 $41

For the electronic membership, the first column shows our current membership rates, and the second column shows the rate proposed by the EC. The AB asked the EC to calculate an option where all members pay the same rate, which is the “Equal Rate,” which reduces the proposed rate for international members by increasing the cost for US members.

Electronic Membership Current Rate Proposed Rate Equal Rate
US RESIDENT .. INDIVIDUAL $15 $10 $13
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (2) $22 $15 $18
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (3) $25 $17 $20
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (4) $28 $19 $22
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (5) $31 $21 $24
US RESIDENT .. FAMILY (6) $34 $23 $26
CANADA .. INDIVIDUAL $16 $11 $13
CANADA .. FAMILY (2) $23 $16 $18
CANADA .. FAMILY (3) $26 $18 $20
CANADA .. FAMILY (4) $29 $20 $22
CANADA .. FAMILY (5) $32 $22 $24
CANADA .. FAMILY (6) $35 $24 $26
OTHER .. INDIVIDUAL $20 $15 $13
OTHER .. FAMILY (2) $27 $20 $18
OTHER .. FAMILY (3) $30 $22 $20
OTHER .. FAMILY (4) $33 $24 $22
OTHER .. FAMILY (5) $36 $26 $24
OTHER .. FAMILY (6) $39 $28 $26

We encourage you to discuss this proposal on the Official STARFLEET Business Discuss List, on your regional lists or with your RC, or in the comments below.

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Capt Samuel Osborne Says:

    I like the idea of an electronic rate that could be the same for U.S. and International members. $10 sounds reasonable to me. I think that if it costs more for delivery to international address and that member wants printed materials, then they should bear the higher cost, so I think different rates for U.S. versus International members is appropriate for printed memberships. using the remailer – $20 for U.S., $27 for Canada, $30 for all other countries makes sense to me. All of these are the individual rates. Since only 1 copy of the printed materials go to each additional family member, $5 per additional family member seems reasonable. Why limit it to 6 family members?

    That’s my $.02

  2. Brenda Bell Says:

    that the *idea* of an equal e-membership rate across the board sounds fair, but I’m wondering if the differential is based upon mail delivery of ballots and election materials? Our current technology and IIRC legal requirements are that these be delivered in paper format. I’m not sure why (as Jon Lane mentioned on the SFI-I list) the difference in differential membership costs between Family Member 2 and Family Member 3. I’d certainly want an explanation as to why it makes senses to do things that way than a standard “+additional member” cost for ALL family members from #2 through #6.

    It DOES make sense to offer an across-the-board e-membership at standard flat rate for ALL countries with printed CQ as an add-on cost; this way the cost will be proportional to the services requested and (hopefully) allow allow more affordable options for all who wish them, and those who want the “bells and whistles” can pay for the additional services at the appropriate cost rate for their delivery.

  3. Bob Vosseller Says:

    I can understand the need to adjust the rates though I would not want to see the print option fade away. I do not know of we really need to make these changes at the current time and I was opposed to the new, more costly format of the CQ and its reduction to a quarterly schedule. I believe the less costly newspaper format was more efficient and we have gained nothing by going in the magazine format other than causing a cost increase which we are now trying to address, partly, through his new and confusing rate system. This IC’s ECAB meeting will not allow for a fully hashed out discussion of the issue as many RCs will not be there for one reason or another and as our incorporation now prohibits proxy votes (not that RC has a proxy this summer, nor do we need one) I can see an across-the-board e-membership but those in different countries will have to abide by the postal system of their country for direct mailings.

  4. Margaret Grunwell Says:

    My CO had asked at one point on another site ‘what is money was being used for’ – the breakdown. As the debits don’t specify the Communique or membership packages, it is difficult to agree to anything until we know what the money is being used for. According to the Communique #174 – Dec. 2012 Starfleet spent $3,206.97, and as of Jan. 2013 it spent $9,170.77. What we have been wondering is specifically on what. You have to admit that the incoming money was less than the outgoing for Jan. 2013 so what was the difference between Dec. and Jan.?

    If we lose the bulk printing of the Communique/membership packages, will we be losing any printing disounts? Thanks.

  5. Lt. Robin Franklin, Region1, USS Charon Says:

    I am all for it! Should have happened sooner.

  6. Camille Hedrick Says:

    If we are going to go electronic, lets go all the way electronic, membership packet and all. With this electronic plan drop dues down to no more than $5 per person and get rid of family memberships.

  7. Lt. Jones Says:

    Personally, I love the Electronic option! I much prefer the electronic newsletter. The world is edging towards more and more electronic media instead of hard copies anyway. Fewer newspapers are sold now-a-days as everyone reads the news on their computer or iPad. It would be strange if Star Trek fans held onto the past instead of looking to the future. So that’s my two cents. :)