FOURTEEN YEARS: PRETTY IMPRESSIVE
A message from Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director
Where were you in 2009? This seems like a simple and silly question. Unless you stop and think, it is very easy to overlook just how much our lives have changed over the last fourteen years.
The last time TMPA raised dues was January of 2009. Therefore, when the recently approved dues increase goes into effect in January, it will have been fourteen years since the last dues increase– which, when you think about it, is remarkable. For context, in 2009 at least a third of you were not yet in law enforcement. For those of you who were, the salary surveys we conducted show that the average pay scales at your agencies have since increased about 45 percent-- that does not include any step increases or promotions you have received personally. Your health insurance premiums are up 74 percent, and your auto insurance rates are up 214 percent.
How this has impacted TMPA is just as glaring. What we pay lawyers to represent you has gone up between 33 and 36 percent; hotel rooms are up 37 percent and food/meals are up 36 percent. The consumer price index (CPI) has increased more than 38 percent since 2009, which means that if we had adjusted dues just to cover CPI, our dues would now be almost $39 a month.
I will repeat, all that considered, it is amazing that we have managed to keep our dues steady for fourteen years.Even now, for those of you who pay the full-time member dues rate of $28, the increase is only $4, which is an average of one percent per year.
The TMPA board has done exactly what we urge your city councils, commissioners’ courts, school boards, and the state legislature to do -- manage resources responsibly; pay competitive wages to attract and retain qualified personnel; and deliver professional services to your stakeholders. Only raise your rates when it is necessary to accomplish those goals. The board is to be commended for following suit and let us hope your elected officials take notice.
By making this move now, we will continue to provide you with the absolute best service, representation, and strongest advocacy voice for years to come.
Since I am the old guy around here, new board members frequently ask me for “words of wisdom” as guidance. My response is always the same – keep in mind that every dollar we spend is coming out of the hard-earned dues that our members pay us to represent them.
That has always been, and will continue to be, our compass.
We wish we could promise that it will be another fourteen years before we must raise dues again. Sorry, no can do. Between 1986 and 2009 we raised dues five times – an average of about once every five years. We cannot tell you if it will be five years or fourteen years until the next dues increase.
But we can promise you this, we will do our best.
Click here to view the accompanying presentation to this article