|The Finance committee noted
their continuing concern with rising personnel costs. They recommended
that in 2008 we reduce these costs from the current 29% to 27.5%. There
was considerable discussion. Some Board members felt that a limit on
personnel expenses is unfair to staff; changes in member discounts
could also be considered.
It was pointed out that restrictions on
personnel expenses could forestall expansion by particular departments.
It was also noted that budget cutting should not be the sole
responsibility of the Collective Management Team, which is responsible
only for member labor and personnel costs, but of the entire membership.
In response, it was remarked that the
Finance committee was not proposing a formal cap on expenses; rather,
the reduction should be a goal of budget planning. The Board agreed to
establish the goal of 27.5% of total expenses for personnel expenses,
but noted that any resulting restrictions will be shared by the entire
membership, not just the paid staff.