|The Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild, in the interest of advancing not only our technical service, the quality of that service to the consumer and Guild in general proposed the following motion, submitted to the National ByLaws Committee to be brought before Council in 2007:
Original Motion as made by Fred Kahn, RPT, second Ed Piotrowski. Result: Carried Unanimously, quorum certified.
November 7, 2006
Motion by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild:
Be it resolved that:
Membership in the Piano Technicians Guild shall be limited to those individuals who have passed all RPT examinations by the required score as set forth in Article III - Application and Examination, Sections A and B.
Be it further resolved that a classification of 'Friend of the Guild' be offered to any individual wishing to be associated with the Guild, but not as a member, after paying the required fees.
Definition: A Friend of the Guild shall be an individual who wishes to take advantage of the educational, literature, and fellowship of the Guild, but is not a member.
The Friend of the Guild shall be:
Attached to a local chapterAble to attend local chapter meeting
Able to Purchase educational materials
Able to attend local, regional, national, and international conferences and trade events
Able to attend schools sessions at the home office
Able to receive the Piano Technicians Journal
Able to become a member after paying the proper fees and passing the RPT exams
The Friend of the Guild shall:
Not be able to vote at any level
Not be able to hold office at any level
Not be able to purchase retail and marketing literature and materials
Not be able to use any of the Piano Technicians Guild logos
Not be able to advertise as a member of the Piano Technicians Guild
Not be restricted from taking the RPT exams and becoming a member
Should the above motion carry, the following housekeeping changes shall be made:
Argument speaking to the above motion at the Philadelphia Chapter meeting by Fred Kahn, RPT.
Housekeeping changes to follow in subsequent document.
In business, a good boss always demands a complaint be followed up by a suggested solution.
Let's assume for a moment that we all care for, and adhere to our code of ethics. And for the most part, the most important feature is delivering the best possible, competent, qualified service to the piano owner.
With that assumption, I offer a compromise to the bylaws proposal concerning member enrollment and the fear of losing members.
So here is the solution with explanation.
RPT's are the only members of the Piano Technicians Guild. All others are "friends" of the Association.
Now, what does that accomplish? The RPT, a qualified member, is allowed to use the logo, advertise that fact that they are qualified members of the Piano Technicians Guild via taking and passing a comprehensive exam, and to take an oath to adhere to our code of ethics. They receive the Journal, the right to sit in council, and advance their skills. No harm, no foul.
The "friend of the association" is not a member. What do they get?
1. They receive the Journal
2. They get access to the PACE programs
3. They have access to all conventions; local, regional, and national.
4. They have access to all rights to take the RPT exams.
Again, no harm, no foul.
What don't they get: Well, essentially, they get everything they have always had, except the right to use the logo and advertise their membership since they are not members. And, if we are going to adhere to our code of ethics, we as ethical RPT's, and they as ethical Friends of the Association shouldn't want them to advertise anyway. They aren't ready, by definition, to deliver professional, competent, piano service to the piano owning public as they have not yet qualified themselves to do so. Which, by the way, in a non-discriminatory fashion, they may do so at any time.
They don't get to hold office of any sort as they need all the time they have to work towards their RPT status. If they never wanted their RPT status in the first place, then they really shouldn't be involved with the day to day tasks of seeing to the needs of the organization.
There is no Taft-Hartley problem here. There is no anti-trust here.
Argument speaking in favor of the Philadelphia Chapter motions for a change in membership status and the formation of the new, non-member designation of "Friend of the Guild".
Please include this in the publishing of the Philadelphia Chapter's motions.
It is becoming evident that the guild must be protected from itself.
As it stands, there exists a small difference in the numbers between the franchised members and the non-franchised members.
The Philadelphia Chapter feels that since the Guild recognizes that the non-franchised members hold importance because of their economic input, it won't be long before they assemble as an association within an association threatening to withhold financial support unless and until they indeed get a vote in council. Soon, RPT's will be sitting next to hobbyist in council determining the future of our organization.
It is evident that the Guild's reticence to hold the mission of the organization ahead of financial goals will ultimately lead to the further watering down of our association. It can easily be seen that the lack of foresight and leadership in the Guild led to the dissolving of the Regional Testing Centers because of lack of necessity. Soon testing will be even more of a rarity.
Our proposal is a sane and responsible one.
Under our proposal, the former Associate will have lost nothing.
By becoming a Friend of the Guild an individual will be able to do and receive the following:
1. Receive the Piano Technicians Journal
2. Attend all local regional and national conferences and trade events
3. Attend the classes held at the offices in Kansas City.
4. Attend local Chapter meetings to the respective chapter to which they are attached.
5. Purchase any and all education materials to prepare for their exams and advancements.
6. Be eligible for membership as soon as they pass their exams, which is consistent with the Fair Trade criteria set up by the Federal Government. The Guild will not withhold membership to anyone who passes the criteria for becoming a member; the exams, and the willingness to adhere to the Bylaws and regulations.
The Friend of the Guild will not be able to purchase any sales or marketing items which are reserved for franchised members. However, this is in place now and changes nothing.
Although the Friend of the Guild may attend Chapter meetings, they may not vote or hold office. As it is, one who is trying to advance themselves in this industry, whether it be for income or avocation, wouldn't have the time to be bothered with the administrative part of the Guild as they will be more concerned with their studies.
Further, as we expect that it is time to place the proverbial horse before the proverbial cart, we, in the Philadelphia Chapter will lobby in our Tri-State area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware in both houses, in those respective states, on both sides of the isle, to make it necessary for piano technicians to obtain a license to practice in those three states.
The Philadelphia Chapter feels that just as in all other professions; Doctors, Attorneys, Plumbers, Electricians, Barbers, the Piano Technician must be forced to become licensed in order to practice their craft. This is in the interest of the public, and falls within the criteria of our code.
Under this proposal, we will demonstrate to the State Representatives and Senators in our area that the public requires protection in our profession as in the others. Also, as in any fledgling licensing program, the franchised members who have already passed their respective exams will obtain licenses upon demonstrating that they have met the criteria of the Guild, the only testing organization of its kind. We will further demonstrate that the test in place since 1985 is a comprehensive one, and will be kept in place for all others who wish to apply for a license.
Our hope is that all states will soon follow suit and require licensing of Piano Technicians before they are allowed to ply their trade. In this way, the Guild, in its present lack of wisdom, will become secondary in the protection of the purchasing public.
Respectfully submitted by The Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild
Lawrence Fornaci, RPT
Motion above set in proper parliamentary form, submitted to, and accepted by the National Bylaws Committee, Chair: Ruth Phillips:
By: the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild
Article II Membership
Original Motion: November 7, 2006
Maker: Fred Kahn, RPT
Second: Ed Piotrowski, RPT
'Membership in the Piano Technicians Guild shall be limited to those individuals who have passed all RPT examinations by the required score as set forth in Article III Application and Examination, Sections A and B.'
Change of wording proposed by the Philadelphia Chapter:
Section A Membership Definition
Membership in the Piano Technicians Guild shall be open to all individuals with a professional or avocational interest in piano technology, and limited to those individuals who have passed all RPT examinations by the required score as set forth in Article III Application and Examination, Sections A and B.
Housekeeping: Should the above motion carry at council, the following changes will have to be made in the body of the Bylaws, including but not limited to:
Section B Classes of Membership
1. Remove the words, 'three classes'
Under b: Remove the words 'Non Franchised'
Replace with 'Non Member'
3. Remove the words 'Non Franchised'
Replace with 'Non Member'
A. Remove: 'Associate, except as provided in Paragraph 4, below'
A. 'Friend of the Guild as provided in Section C, 3 below'
Remove: Section B, Paragraph 4
Change Section C heading to read:
Section C Definitions, Rights and Benefits of Membership and Non Membership Classifications
Remove Paragraph 3 as stated.
Motion: November 7, 2006
Maker: Fred Kahn
Second: Ed Piotrowski
New wording for Paragraph 3:
'A Friend of the Guild shall be an individual who wishes to take advantage of the education, literature, and fellowship of the Guild, but is not a member.
The Friend of the Guild shall be attached to a local chapter, and be able to: attend local chapter meetings, purchase educational materials, attend local, regional, national, and international conferences and trade events, attend school sessions at the home office, receive the Piano Technicians Journal, become a Member after paying the proper fees and passing the RPT exams.
The Friend of the Guild will not be able to: vote at any level, hold office at any level, purchase retail and marketing literature and materials, use any of the Piano Technicians Guild logos, advertise as a member of the Piano Technicians Guild.
Friends of the Guild will not be restricted from taking the RPT exams and becoming a member'
Housekeeping: Continued: Should the above motion carry at council, the following changes will have to be made in the body of the Bylaws, including but not limited to:
Section D Member Identification, Logo, and Advertising
Remove: Paragraph 2
Article III Application and Examination
Section B Examinations
Remove Paragraph 1.
Paragraph 4. Remove the words: The examinee's PTG membership number must appear on all application and exam forms.
Article V Membership Dues and Fees
Sectin A PTG Dues
1. Remove the word 'Associate', and insert, 'Friend of the Guild'
Section E Resignations and Membership Restoration
2. Remove the word 'Associate' and insert 'Friend of the Guild'
Article VI International Members
Remove the words 'Associate Members' and insert: 'Friends of the Guild'
Article VIII Chapters
Section D Chapter Areas and Transfer of Membership
1. Insert after 'Each member' the words: 'and Friend of the Guild'
3. Remove entire paragraph and renumber the subsequent paragraphs appropriately
Article III Membership
4. Remove: 'sending the new member's membership card' and insert: 'setting up a testing date. Upon successful completion of the necessary exams, shall send the new member their membership card'
Article V The RPT EXAMS
2. Remove the word: 'Associate' and insert: 'Friend of the Guild'. Remove 'RPT' and insert: 'member'.
5. Test sponsors and chapters'
a. Remove: 'Associate's' insert: 'Friend of the Guild's'
b. Remove: 'Associate': insert: 'Friend of the Guild'
d. Remove: 'Associate' insert: 'Friend of the Guild'
Information and Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: First of all, it's been said that the Philadelphia Chapter wants the government to run the Piano Industry...is this true?
A: Absolutely not! The government doesn't run any other professional organization that supports qualifying its members; not the medical profession, or legal profession, or any other trade organization. This is just more scare tactics from those who would want to keep our guild and profession in the dark ages. Furthermore, this motion has nothing to do with any suggesion of licensing. Licensing would be an effort to upgrade our profession if the guild refused to step up to the plate and protect itself. So, anyone who might suggest that the government would "run" our idustry is probably looking to continue the holding back of our trade and profession by scaring us into submission. Don't listen to them. You take the bull by the horns and help lead us to professionalism at the highest level.
Q: If this motion were passed, would the now labeled Associates lose anything?
A: No. They would retain all the necessary tools to gain membership in the PTG as qualified individuals.
They can still go to meetings, receive the Journal, attend classes at any level, utilize the PACE program, take their test, and become members.
Q: What would the Associate lose?
A: Well, there's not much to lose they already don't have. They can't vote, hold office, or advertise as members. However, an individual who is really interested in becoming a competent technician doesn't have time to hold office or keep up with guild politics anyway. They should be too busy studying their craft in order to pass their test. The hobbyist shouldn't really care about guild politics or voting. So, in actuality, they lose nothing and gain everything.
Q: Is any of this affected by the Federal Anti Trust Laws?
A: Absolutely not. The Anti Trust Law has nothing to do with membership in private trade organizations. The Anti Trust Law has only to do with restraint of trade. We are in not way interfering with anyone's ability to make a living. You don't need to be associated with the Guild in any way, shape, or form to make a living in the piano industry. In fact, there are many more working technicians who are not members of the PTG then who are, and they're working away and making a living. We need to stop listening to scare tactics. This motion would actually improve the numbers in our organization, thereby improving our posture on all levels. The Guild is not in a position to stop anyone from tuning. The Guild is in a position to make sure it remains parallel with all other professional and trade organizations that require qualification to be a member.
Q: Is there any discrimination or exclusion in this idea?
A: None: Anyone, and it is reiterated, anyone can enroll in the Friend of the Guild program. Anyone can take the tests necessary to become a member. In that, no one is discriminated against and there is no exclusion. This further demonstrates that we are in line with all Federal Anti Trust laws. Read them (the laws) yourself, or do what we did, get an attorney to do it for you.
Q: If there is no exclusionary or discriminatory policy here, why would anyone be against this motion?
A: Good question. We can only speculate that there are those who think this would make people go away. If you refer to the first question above, you would realize that there would be no reason for anyone to leave the organization. The PTG is the premier organization of its kind in the world. The PTG offers the most in terms of technical assistance and qualifying individuals. Our Journal is second to none. Why would anyone go anywhere else?! In fact, pass this motion and chances are you will see an increase in membership as a result.
Q: Licensing is mentioned as a possibility. Would that prove a hardship to the current Registered Technicians?
A: No. The technicians who are currently registered in the PTG would be Grandfathered and receive their license after providing proof to their respective state.
Q: What is the advantage to the Guild if state licensing were adopted?
A: Think about this: If a magic wand were waved and magically all states required licensing, all technicians, except those already qualified in the PTG would have to be tested. Where do you think these individuals would go to get that testing? What organization do you think they would join to get the help they need to pass that test? Our numbers would magically quadruple. The PTG would benefit greatly on all levels if this were to come to pass.
Q: What is the real advantage to state licensing?
A: Think of this: All qualified individuals would be licensed. Advertising would require that one include their license number. The public would know who is qualified and who is not. Think further: How much would the industry grow with the advent of qualification? Think of how piano service would be recognized as a profession. We would have finally arrived along with all other professional trades and recognized as such.
Q: What happens to the firm who employs several technicians? Do all of the employees need to be licensed?
A: No. Let's take an example: AAA Electrical Contracting is a union electrical firm. They employ 150 electricians at various levels. The only person who need be licensed is the owner or a designee under whom all responsibility lies. So, if John the electrician works for AAA, he comes under the license of the firm. In this way, if there is a problem, the licensee is the responsible party for the entire firm. However, John the electrician can't do any electrical work under his own name. In that case, he would be responsible and he would need a license.
To further exemplify: If The Ace Piano Service Company, owned by Charlie Ace, a licensed piano technician, employs 12 field service technicians, then only Charlie need be licensed. If Charlie were not licensed, but hired a licensed individual, Eddie the piano tech, who agreed to take responsibility for all the other work of all the other unlicensed technicians, that would work too. But, if Eddie quit the firm, The Ace Piano Service Company would have to cease doing technical work until either the boss became licensed or another licensed individual were hired.
Q: What is the advantage to the PTG if the motion to make unqualified individuals 'Friends' instead of Associates?
A: You would now remove all arguments regarding advertising. You would remove all ambiguity to the public as to who is qualified and who is not. You would have more individuals who are now hiding behind the 'Associate' designation stepping up and becoming qualified. It would raise the professionalism of the Guild immediately to be on par with other professional organizations such as the ABA, the AMA, and all other organizations that require their professionals prove their qualifications. And, the Guild would need to re-institute the regional testing centers. The entire idea of being a CTE would be advanced to the point where more RPT's would opt to assist.
Q: But how can we change now?
A: All organizations go through an evolutionary process. In fact, that process never stops. In the beginning, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, electricians, teachers, and for that matter, automobile operators did not require licensing or qualification. That's all changed now, hasn't it?
Q: So, who benefits from these proposals?
A: Great question. All parties is the short answer. The longer answer: The Guild with increased membership and high visibility with regard to quality, the individual who now belongs to a real professional organization, and above all, the consumer of piano services. And after all, that's what our Mission Statement is all about.