CP&SA urges members to mobilise to save group
INCREASING reluctance to join local organisations and branches has had a big effect on the business model of many organisations, including those which represent older people.
Among them is the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, which is moving from a business model based on reflecting the views of members expressed at face-to-face branch meetings to online membership and feedback.
"CP&SA used to be a place where the members were the policy officers," policy coordinator Paul Versteege said.
"But now it is down to staff researching what is going on; passing it on to the members and getting their views back.
"And we are only funded to the end of June."
He said the drop in branch membership was now being counteracted by climbing numbers of online members and they were researching the best model of online interaction for members.
Mr Versteege said the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association needed to mobilise its members to secure new funding for the organisation, which relies on a small state government grant.
"We are in deep thought about how to structure online membership," he said.
"We tried an online chat room for aged care, but that has dangers, because aged care providers are so litigious, so it never really got off the ground."
He said other organisations, like Council on the Ageing (COTA) had virtually abandoned the branch structure and many other groups were seeing similar changes.
"Clubs are waning - with the exception of bridge clubs," he said.
Some Coffs Coast CPSA groups, like Glenreagh, remain within the branch structure but function as a non-transacting branch.