NBFAA 30-percent dues increase receives OK from association’s board

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

SILVER SPRING, Md. - In an effort to update and expand on their National Training School courses, the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association has elected to adopt its first member dues increase since 2001.

In an October 21 teleconference, the measure passed by a two-thirds vote from the NBFAA’s 51-member board. The 30 percent increase will take effect in 2005.

The NBFAA intends to use the money raised through the increase to make some past due revisions to its NTS courses, a technical and customer service-based training program. “We have nine courses written, owned and delivered throughout the country and periodically these courses need updates,” said Merlin Guilbeau, executive director of NBFAA.

NTS launched its first online course in October (see related story on page 4), after working for more than one year restructuring and transferring the classroom material to fit a cyber-classroom.

“We also needed to deal with some NBFAA cash flow issues,” said Mike Miller, vice president of Moon Security Services and treasurer of the NBFAA board.

Miller had originally raised the issue of increasing dues more than a year ago. He does not foresee any major membership declines as a result of the increase.

“I believe our members will continue to see the value in NBFAA,” explained Miller. “We were fair and equitable in arriving at this decision. I’m sure they will all realize that.”

For a company with one to five employees, currently paying $175 a year, the new dues will translate into a $53 increase.

An original proposal asking for a 70-percent dues increase was turned down in September. Two board meetings later an agreeable increase was reached.

“Some of the board felt that it may have been too much all at once,” said Miller, of the original proposal.

Despite the compromise, “we’ll still achieve our goals and plans for the future,” said Guilbeau. In the future, the NBFAA hopes to take a more proactive approach in government affairs.

The NBFAA had managed to avoid such increases in the past by cutting back on various costs, but none more dramatic than cutting back on staff.

“There were 14 people on staff when I first got here two years ago,” explained Guilbeau. “We now have eight.”

Guilbeau feels to cut staff any further would directly affect the values of the 52-year-old association provides its more than 2,400 member companies. NBFAA members offer commercial and residential services in security alarms, fire alarms, alarm system monitoring, CCTV and access control.