Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finance Committee Meeting; Executive Committee Meeting

Hope you had a great August!

We had a Finance Committee meeting, followed by Executive, at Clyde Road this afternoon.

Our finances remain tight, although we remain on target for a small profit for the year. Our main focus remains on our subscription revenues, both for existing members and new members. These are reasonably where we expect them to be at this time of year, are we are hoping for an uplift of new members joining in the light of our recent changes to our membership criteria for MIEI.

We had a first consideration of the annual budget for 2010, including member subscription rates for 2010. Executive's recommendations on subscription rates will be brought to our imminent Council meeting on 26th next.

We continue to seek initiatives to help our unemployed members, and some members have been very generous in offering their time and expertise in this regard.

Our new web site, membership and registrar system is operational since mid July. It has been well received, and has also greatly improved our business processes at Clyde Road. As President, and on behalf of the Executive, I am sincerely grateful to Damien Owens, member of the Executive, and to Roberta Keaney at Clyde Rd, who both oversaw and managed the project, together with everyone in Clyde Rd, and the contractors IQContent and Version-1.

The Executive, together with certain members, have expressed concern over the continuing deterioration in the interest level and quality of Mathematics and Science teaching in schools. PJ Rudden is established a working group to consider the response that we should make, including any supporting actions we can take at a local level to help using voluntary expertise, and report back to Executive by December next.

The Tanaiste made a number of comments about the costs of Engineers over the summer. More recently the National Competitiveness Council also commented about the relatively high cost of Engineers, although on a closer inspection of their draft report in fact only reported on Engineering Technicians. John Power reported on the work which had proactively been carried out directly with both the civil service and certain Ministers on correcting the situation.

The annual conference is well on track. In particular, on the occasion of our 175th anniversary, conference is being extended to a full second day. On the afternoon of the second day, sectors and divisions are being invited to bring resolutions to conference for debate. John Power is writing to all Chairs, with follow up at the imminent Liaison Committee meeting on 26th September.

John Power updated the Executive on recent correspondence and work with An Bord Pleanala, and meetings with both Departments of Education and Science, and Enterprise Trade and Employment. This also included work on regulation of the profession, which in turn had received recent national media interest in the light of the Broadmeadow rail viaduct collapse.

Our next Executive, and Finance, meeting will be in October.

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