Hello DPROA Members,
I hope this message finds you all well and still sane from the weeks of quarantine at home. The purpose of this briefing is to convey information we normally would have disseminated in our General Membership meeting that was cancelled due to the “stay at home orders.”
Your DPROA Board met yesterday and again today via Zoom to discuss the business of the association. Our first order of business was a discussion of the costs assumed by the association for the use of PayPal. This option for dues payment was added last October following the launch of our new website. A recent review of our account reveals that in the last six months the use of this service has cost our association almost $1000.00 in fees. We originally thought we could simply pass these costs along to our members who wanted to continue using this service, but after further research and consultation we have learned that this is not permissible. Our User Agreement with PayPal prohibits the imposition of a “surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method.” With that in mind the Board decided to stop accepting PayPal as a method of payment of dues effective June 1, 2020. We cannot simply flip a switch and turn off the service. We have to remove the payment option from the website and members who have set up their dues payment on PayPal at monthly intervals need time to make adjustments. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause some of you, but our association needs every penny we take in to support our continued battles to recover our earned and accrued benefits and we believe this money is better spent on attorneys representing our interests.
There are four options available for members to pay dues.
- Automatic electronic check from your bank scheduled monthly or annually
- Paper check or money order delivered in hand or mailed
- Automatic deduction from DP&FP pension check
My personal favorite is the automatic deduction from my pension check. This can be scheduled for monthly or annual payment. Your dues are deducted from your pension check and deposited directly into our bank. There are no trips to the post office or the bank, and we get a report each month from DP&FP identifying members whose dues were deposited. There is a link on our website and the DP&FP website to the form for Auto Deduction if you wish to use this option. (Note: If you are already having insurance or other fees being withheld from your check be sure to include them on your new form. If you do not, the DP&FP treats each form as a new selection and they will stop your previous deductions)
There have not been any new developments on the Degan case since the Texas Supreme Court answered the questions submitted by the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. We remain hopeful that the Fifth Circuit will set the case for oral argument soon.
There has been some movement in the suit against the Texas Pension Review Board (PRB) over our Annual Adjustment. As you may recall the Texas Attorney General representing the PRB challenged our attempt to depose an executive representative of the PRB and lost. A second appeal was rejected by the appeals court and now they have appealed to the Texas Supreme Court (TSC). Our attorney was notified this past Saturday that the TSC is requesting merit briefs from both sides. The PRB must submit their brief by May 4, followed by our brief May 26 and then a reply from the PRB by June 10th. We remain hopeful that this action will result in a ruling from the TSC before they adjourn in August. I will keep you informed on any new developments.
We are starting the process of notifying members who joined the Annual Adjustment lawsuit and are now showing to be delinquent in payment of their 2020 dues. We will contact each member to determine the problem and help them become current. Members who joined the lawsuit will recall signing a “Contractual Agreement” stating you would remain a member in “good standing” for the duration of the lawsuit. We will make sure that everyone showing to be delinquent in the payment of dues is aware of their status and the consequences of not correcting this issue.
We continue to work on the website and it has come a long way, but if anyone is still unable to log on, please email Carol Richtsmeier at [email protected] She will trouble shoot the problem and get you access.
Everyone stay healthy and safe and we will see you next month, I hope.