Friday, February 13, 2009

ABA Takes it on the Chin for Booksellers

The ABA is reducing annual membership fees by 50% and implementing an assortment of other cost cutting programs to "to help and support booksellers in these extraordinarily difficult economic times." ABA

Among the policies they are implementing are the following:
  1. Institution of a hiring freeze, resulting in a reduction of ABA staff by 5-1/2 FTE (full-time equivalents) -- or 12 percent -- achieved through attrition.
  2. Implementation of a total wage freeze.
  3. Suspension of ABA contributions to the association's 401(k) and SEP plans.
  4. Elimination of all discretionary travel.
  5. Elimination of all discretionary spending unless prior approval from the CEO or COO is obtained.
  6. Increased implementation of web-based communication and webinars for delivery of ABA education programs.
  7. Cancellation of ABA's annual spring forum schedule.
  8. Revamping of the group medical benefit, with a move to a higher deductible and the implementation of a Health Savings Plan.
The organization has attributed the 50% dues reduction to the 2009 calendar year and has said any new members during this time would also pay the lower rate. Any member that had the temerity to pay already have paid their 2009 dues will get a refund. The announcement did not make any note of the current search for a CEO and whether that position was to be amended in any way as a result of these changes.

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