Editorial

Friends and Colleagues,

 

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to Christmas and what the year ahead may provide. The first piece of good news is that the CPI figure for September was 3% so we should all look forward to a decent rise in our pensions.  On the down side the Association rules allow for an increase in subscription and as a result, with effect from January 2018 the national subscription and branch levy for full members will rise by 5p per month to £1.92, (£23.04 per yr).  The branch has agreed to retain the widow subscription at 25p per month (£3 per yr.)

 

The last meeting of the branch took place on Thursday 16th November 2017.  The committee agreed to update the Welfare Fund rules to identify properly where the Branch Levy (the 20p per month paid by full members) was recorded and more clearly identify its use.  This will commence in January 2018 with the start of the next financial year.  It is an administrative change that will show in the branch accounts that are reported to you in each newsletter.

 

The committee also agreed that the Widow(er)s Christmas Bonus should remain at £30. The cheques will be sent out at the beginning of December to those who are entitled to the payment.  Once again, I would like to thank those of you who wished the payment to remain in the Welfare account for the use of others who may need it.

 

We are also looking at changes to the way we inform members of items of news. We are aware that many members do not have, nor wish to have, access to a computer or the internet and we will continue to send newsletters after branch meetings.  We have our mass email system linked to the web site, via the member forum, which has over 635 members, however this has had continual problems regarding access and speed that has resulted in some members missing news.  The use of the branch Facebook page has increased and provides almost instant information although items can appear before ‘comments’ can be verified.

 

We are looking at a possible change that uses the national database (known as Supersleuth) which has been updated following the last national conference and includes several upgrades that can be used by branches including a mass email system for each branch that uses the emails held on the membership information.

 

I believe this will notify more members than our own system. I will try this with a test message on Monday 4th December that you should receive. I would ask you to check for its arrival.  I will send a second the next day in case there is a fault on the system.  If you receive nothing it may be your email address is not up to date.  To update please email me on Narpo.cleveland@outlook.com   I will also send an email from our current system if there is a failure to send from the national office.

 

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE INCLUDED IN THE FUTURE please inform me via the above email and I can disconnect you from the mass system.

 

 

 

If this trial is successful an item will be included as an agenda item for the AGM in 4th March 2018 to approve its use and discontinue our web site, forum, and associated email system. The national web site at www.narpo.org has also had an ‘overhaul’ and provides information regarding work, leisure, pensions, and member services which are used by members on a very regular basis and surpass anything we could produce on our web site.

 

By integrating into the national system, we will be using a safeguarded and secure database provided by the Association for our use. This will provide a saving on branch costs as our web site requires payment for domain hosting, insurance, and data protection, which will no longer be needed as the Association has cover for all member use and information.

 

Regarding Facebook I get lots of friend requests and I may miss some of you as I do not always recognise the name from our membership. If you wish to be added to the Narpo Cleveland Facebook page, please request via the Narpo.cleveland@outlook.com email, or by Messenger, so I can confirm your details and keep out unwanted ‘friends’.

 

I am pleased to say that the NARPO Social at Middlesbrough Motor Club on the 20th November was well attended and a great success.  Thanks, must go to Barry and Chris Cooper for the food, quiz and all their hard work.  We hope to make this a regular social event at least twice a year and we are looking towards April for the next one.