Author Topic: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced  (Read 2766 times)

Offline aricooperdavis

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Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« on: November 26, 2020, 03:37:57 pm »
I've cross-posted the below message from the BCA website.



Joining Fees for Clubs Reduced


The BCA Council recently announced that the membership fees for 2021 are largely unchanged except for a reduction for clubs (see the post for a summary).

The fee for Clubs joining the BCA has been reduced to a flat rate of £25 regardless of their size. This is intended to help the Clubs financially in these troubled COVID times, acknowledge their tremendous value to the BCA, and recognise their contribution to the administration of  BCA membership.

Furthermore, we would like to address some concerns regarding the replacement of the CIMs and DIMs membership categories with a single “BCA Member” category. This is required by Proposal 10 of the 2020 AGM (resulting from the levelling of the CIMs and DIMs joining fees, effectively creating a redundant category), which was passed by the membership in an online vote, and is set to be implemented for the 2022 membership year.

Caving clubs will still administer BCA membership for their members so that they don’t have to join the BCA separately, but there will no longer be any difference between these members and those who join the BCA directly. As a result BCA members who join the BCA through their club will soon be able to join the BCRA without becoming DIMs.

The BCA hope that Clubs will continue to be an integral part of administering BCA membership, and this is partly reflected by the reduction in the Club membership joining fee. As part of this continuing strong relationship, however, it is vital that Clubs continue to furnish the BCA with accurate contact details for their members. This will enable the BCA to inform our members about BCA matters and ensure that they are able to vote in BCA meetings. The BCA will help our Clubs ensure that this complies with data-protection legislation, which is often the reason for membership information not being passed on.

Phil Rowsell
BCA Chair

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2020, 04:56:12 pm »
This is very welcome news - thank you.

Following a post by the chairman of my club, UCET, to this forum on this subject a little while ago - we (UCET) reduced our membership subscriptions for the forthcoming year to just the BCA insurance cost (partly in sympathy to the lack of ability to go caving and partly in sympathy to personal financial costs, especially at Christmas time).

This reduction by the BCA is great news, especially for clubs with low (or no) membership subs.

 :halo:

Ian
A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2020, 07:20:24 pm »
That is a great idea.  The YSS are also allowing 2020 members to join in 2021 for the cost of the BCA membership which is cool.



Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020, 07:42:39 pm »
Brilliant stuff! - being in a club should deffo be free, a bit like living in the UK when the government makes it impossible/illegal to trade solvently. What an amazing and shiney world we live in nowadays. Yay.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2020, 11:02:04 am »
Two of my clubs have advocated that people join the BCA directly to save the club having to administer the BCA payment...

The comment of one advocate was basically that BCA had 'devalued' the club role in BCA, and by levelling membership fees between DIM/CIM there was no incentive for members to join BCA through a club, so we should shift the administrative burden to the BCA to prove a point.

The other advocate suggested that processing payments through an electronic system actually cost the club money for each transaction, so if members joined direct it would save the club money.

The first suggestion just sounds like sour grapes, as there is basically no additional administrative burden for the club processing BCA membership vs verifying that the member is a BCA member through another club, or direct.

The second point is easily avoided by making an online transfer, though I appreciate that some people are not easily able to do this...

Offline JoshW

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2020, 11:14:46 am »
Two of my clubs have advocated that people join the BCA directly to save the club having to administer the BCA payment...

The comment of one advocate was basically that BCA had 'devalued' the club role in BCA, and by levelling membership fees between DIM/CIM there was no incentive for members to join BCA through a club, so we should shift the administrative burden to the BCA to prove a point.


The obvious response is that if the only 'value' that your club could offer before was cheaper BCA rates than joining directly, then they'd already devalued themselves.

I'm a big advocate of club caving, and the benefits reach far and beyond access to BCA insurance, and have been discussed on this forum.

@Pete, aware these are not your views but someone else's that you're just posting, so not having a pop!
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 11:55:11 am »
I don't think it makes any real difference to the BCA whether people join directly or via a club, _except_ that some clubs don't pass on contact details so it can actually be easier for the BCA to get in touch with its members if they join direct.

Part of the reason for continuing to allow clubs to act as agents for the BCA and sign people up is because it makes it easier for the clubs to sell membership - they can take people's money in one transaction and know they are members. Otherwise, they have to take the money and be 'you are a member now - or rather you will be once you have signed up to the BCA, which we now need to check, because we can't have you as a member unless you also go online and sign up, or post a cheque somewhere, but right now I can't let you into the club hut' or whatever (which is clearly silly).

The club-administered membership system does not run for the benefit of the BCA any more - it's for the benefit of the clubs. This will become more true as the IT overhaul is completed.

In other words, if a club wants to save the payment processing fees by getting their members to sign up to the BCA direct, the BCA is, I suspect, very happy to oblige and help out the club :)

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2020, 12:24:39 pm »
Yes, Josh, not my views, just views that have been aired in my clubs  :thumbsup:

My personal thoughts (and they may be ill-informed) were that if everyone signed up to BCA direct, the administration of producing and sending our membership cards would significantly increase.

With club members, cards are sent to the club for distribution, which often then happens in person, or otherwise in the same envelope with the club journal/ newsletter. Posting out 6000 cards individually is clearly more effort, but I understand that this is done by one of the BCA's few paid employees, so at least it isn't an additional workload for volunteers...

In the scheme of things, perhaps this is no big deal, but distribution of membership cards via clubs seems much more efficient.

Offline Cavematt

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2020, 12:39:28 pm »
Or phase out membership cards and replace them with a downloadable letter, available via BCA Online, for the small proportion of people who need to prove their BCA membership. Not as good for cutting cheese or scraping windscreens though...
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Offline JoshW

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2020, 12:41:07 pm »
Yes, Josh, not my views, just views that have been aired in my clubs  :thumbsup:

My personal thoughts (and they may be ill-informed) were that if everyone signed up to BCA direct, the administration of producing and sending our membership cards would significantly increase.

With club members, cards are sent to the club for distribution, which often then happens in person, or otherwise in the same envelope with the club journal/ newsletter. Posting out 6000 cards individually is clearly more effort, but I understand that this is done by one of the BCA's few paid employees, so at least it isn't an additional workload for volunteers...

In the scheme of things, perhaps this is no big deal, but distribution of membership cards via clubs seems much more efficient.

Perhaps an option of signing up straight through BCA with a 'send card to club' option, or even have online membership as the default, with cards as an option.

stands well back from incoming argument over membership cards
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline Emsy

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2020, 01:21:07 pm »
Or phase out membership cards and replace them with a downloadable letter, available via BCA Online, for the small proportion of people who need to prove their BCA membership. Not as good for cutting cheese or scraping windscreens though...

Yes, in these days, when "1 use" plastic is going out of fashion, using cards that only last for 12 months is not very environmentally friendly. The distribution of these cards is also a right pain, at club level.
Maybe BCA should have an " environmental policy" against them.
As stated above, a downloadable card (self print onto whatever medium) , exact same format, should be acheiveable.
I never have a need to use the card and it normally goes straight in the bin.
If you need to show it someone for access, why can't it be a self printed version ? With maybe some online confirmation of PL insurance cover.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2020, 03:03:44 pm »
in these days, when "1 use" plastic is going out of fashion, using cards that only last for 12 months is not very environmentally friendly.

This has obviously been discussed elsewhere, but I don't have time to look for it right now.

I'll reiterate what I think I said before, which is that the environmental impact of one plastic card per member is microscopic compared to all the other environmental damage we do every single day. It's also microscopic compared to the environmental damage we do caving.

On an average caving trip, I drive for an 80 mile round trip minimum using just over a gallon of diesel (if I take the car, or about 7 gallons of petrol if I take the Land Rover and no caver has ever had anything other than a compliment for my thirsty old beast  ;D), plus whatever particulate emission from tyres and brakes etc. I wear a cordura (plastic) oversuit that is abraded leaving fragments of microplastic to wash straight through the cave, down the rivers and into a reservoir or the sea. I wear neoprene (plastic) knee pads which slowly disintegrate in the same manner as my oversuit, but possibly a bit quicker. I wear rubber (plastic) wellies that also disintegrate in the same manner. I wear a fleece (plastic) undersuit, which guess what, disintegrates in the same manner. If I'm lucky I get a few years use out of some items, through extensive repairs where possible, but ultimately, they will all end up in landfill eventually and I will buy more. I use batteries to run my lamp, which have their own environmental problems in both production and disposal, also having a finite life. I often carry some chocolate, which is wrapped in single use plastic wrapper, the ink (plastic?) on which has generally washed off into the cave by the time I eat it.

Anybody who is genuinely worried about the impact of a BCA card, really needs to look at the rest of their life first.

Personally I like having a BCA card. I've never once had to show it to anyone, but I like the fact that when I look in my wallet, most things in there identify me as a caver. Just as I like having paper journals; I know I can read most of them online, but it's not the same.

I like caving too, and call me selfish if you will, I'm prepared to accept the environmental damage I cause in return for the personal gains, both physical and mental.

Offline JoshW

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2020, 05:25:33 pm »
Anybody who is genuinely worried about the impact of a BCA card, really needs to look at the rest of their life first.


Assuming that the person isn't already looking at the rest of their life and reducing where they can and I guess the argument is that it should be very simple to request that you don't receive one (or preferably that you have to request to have one).
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline mikem

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2020, 06:13:08 pm »
The only place I've had to show it is white scar.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2020, 07:27:19 pm »
I've only been to White Scar once and I don't recall actually showing the card. I know we had to book in advance and provide names for the party, but when we got there, they were very relaxed.

Offline alexchien

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2020, 08:55:48 pm »
"which is that the environmental impact of one plastic card per member is microscopic compared to all the other environmental damage we do every single day. "

Not really comparable at all is it, as I was talking about a single use plastic card that serves little purpose other than to fatten the wallet of some keyboard muppet who doesn't even use it.
I wasn't talking about every day use of plastic products that are an essential part of our sport and have years of useage.

If everyone of the billions in this world thought like you, that making a miniscule difference wasn't worth the effort then no wonder our oceans and countryside are full of shite.

Offline darren

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2020, 09:35:53 pm »
Yes we all need to remember.

If everyone does a little thing to save the environment, between us we do a little to save the environment.

We need to stop kidding ourselves that doing a little has any effect.
No, I'm playing all the right notes

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2020, 09:44:31 pm »
Database application: join BCA get a virtual card to display on your mobile screen - if anyone needs to check its veracity they can visit BCA website and find out if you're a paid up member. No cards, no postage, payment can be automated so no major burden on voluntary effort etc.. It's the future, but it could be the present.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2020, 11:13:56 pm »
If everyone of the billions in this world thought like you, that making a miniscule difference wasn't worth the effort then no wonder our oceans and countryside are full of shite.

Actually if everyone in the world thought like me, I suspect that there would be an awful lot less waste. You don't know me, but anyone who does will confirm that I live a very low impact life. Having just done a quick audit of my house, I can confirm that there is not a single item of furniture bought new. My computer is over 10 years old and I only have a smart phone because work provide it. My own phone is 10 years old. I don't own a television or any other pointless electronic entertainment systems. My waterproof jacket was second hand when I was given it, and I've had it for 7 years now. I repair anything that breaks until it can be repaired no more, then I either repurpose it, or dismantle it to reuse the parts. Despite having young children, we produce less than 2 bags of rubbish between fortnightly collections, while every other house on the street seems to have an overflowing bin. I wash my caving kit in a bucket filled from the rainwater butt to save using the hose. The bucket incidentally I spotted on the roadside and stopped to grab it, because it looked like it still had a bit of life left in it. Other than for work, or visiting family, I have only once travelled abroad (Italy, 13 years ago). So kindly f*#k off with your ill-informed accusations.

We need to change the big things, and the frequent things, then perhaps we can forgive ourselves a plastic card once a year, that does have a purpose, even if only to remind the owner that there are still caves and a caving community out there, while they are stuck at home self isolating.

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2020, 11:41:05 pm »
Database application: join BCA get a virtual card to display on your mobile screen - if anyone needs to check its veracity they can visit BCA website and find out if you're a paid up member. No cards, no postage, payment can be automated so no major burden on voluntary effort etc.. It's the future, but it could be the present.

But I don't have a smartphone  :halo:

Most of our club member cards generally (annually) sit on the kitchen counter at the club hut waiting for members to collect them, which they never do. We (I) could post them out, but that's 70-odd letters at 70p each, and a day of unpaid work for me. As these members don't seem to be able to turn up to collect them (no criticism, they're probably too busy or a long way away), chances are they don't really need them - especially this year. I get my card direct from BCA, but I've never shown it to get in anywhere either. I don't take my wallet caving as I'm bound to lose it!

Online 2xw

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2020, 05:12:01 am »
Database application: join BCA get a virtual card to display on your mobile screen - if anyone needs to check its veracity they can visit BCA website and find out if you're a paid up member. No cards, no postage, payment can be automated so no major burden on voluntary effort etc.. It's the future, but it could be the present.

But I don't have a smartphone  :halo:


I reckon you're still young enough that you'll be priced out of not owning a smart phone at some point

Online 2xw

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2020, 05:21:08 am »
More to the point, this is as a result of a ballot at the AGM which was passed by the membership. That proposal specifically included wording to the effect of removing the burden of membership administration from club secretaries... So not really sour grapes proving that point

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2020, 07:03:58 am »
Pete Hall does make a good point; target the big things first then start worrying about the less big ones. For example, perhaps folks might consider their individual carbon footprint associated with driving or flying thousands of miles overseas on caving expeditions (and specifically factor in ways in which it might be reduced)? I'm not suggesting folk shouldn't go; it's just an example to make the point.

I avoided having a smart phone for good reasons. (I bought one earlier this year but only because I suddenly had a specific purpose for it). I tend to leave it at home when out caving as I don't want to have to leave it in the car or in a bag at an entrance in case it gets stolen and then misused. (In some ways a smart phone is a liability.)

A physical card has no monetary value so no-one's going to pinch it (unless it's concealed in something else) if they rummage through a rucsack. My typically gets used at least 2 or 3 times a year, when negotiating access for project caving, to show land owners or tenant farmers that the caving community is responsible enough to have thought of covering them for liability. There have been times when this has been the make or break. I've also been in a position where I've had to ask to see someone else's card to check they're covered by BCA insurance, when helping sort out access for them.

I'd not like to see a situation develop where those BCA members who do find their cards useful can't have them.

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2020, 09:55:43 am »
An electronic solution doesn't necessarily require a smartphone - one simple solution would be for cavers to be able to generate a PDF "certificate" through their user profile that contains a code that someone checking that "certificate" can validate on the BCA website. This PDF could be shown on a smartphone, or could be printed, or in a pinch the code could be scribbled on the back of a hand with a biro.

Incidentally, this is essentially the same system being used by the government to allow employers to verify COVID test results to check that their employees aren't just bunking off.

Offline mikem

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Re: Joining Fee for Clubs Reduced
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2020, 09:57:31 am »
Yes, but farmers generally aren't very keen on that sort of thing...

 

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