To UBA or not to UBA?

A few days ago I received an e-mail from Rik ON7YD to ask me to pay the yearly membership fee for the UBA. Since a few years they send out these e-mails a few weeks before they send out letters to all members. For those who pay before the letters are sent out they can spare some postage.

After receiving this e-mail I sent this reply to Rik ON7YD (the dutch speaking vice-president of the uba) and to Claude ON7TK (the president of the uba):

(I sent the reply in dutch but translated it here for you, in italic you find some extra explanations to help you understand)

Dear Rik,

with all due respect to those putting a lot of work in it but I think CQ-QSO (the bi-monthly printed magazine of the uba) is a huge waste of money.

So I’d like a UBA membership of €26/year, or no, I want to pay the regular €45 on condition that the extra money is spent for protecting our hobby and not to waste paper. We are in 21st century and everything can be sent to the members over the internet -almost- for free.

(regular members of uba pay €45 but if there are more than one member in a family they only get one subscription to CQ-QSO and the first member of the family pays €45 and the others only pay €26 so I guess the value of CQ-QSO is 45-26=€19)

And please don’t give me the argument that CQ-QSO is the way to send the official notices of the uba to the members… errors in those official notices have been corrected recently via Facebook.  Example: Rechtzetting: er zijn 4 kandidaturen voor de Raad van Bestuur in plaats van 3, zie de UBA website Rectification: Appel aux candidatures des administrateurs Il y a 4 candidatures au lieu de 3, voir le site UBA.

For your information: membership fee for overseas members of the ARRL (without paper QST) = USD 36/year= +/- 28 euro  // with paper QST = USD 62/year = +/- 48 euro

Moreover 50% of the space in CQ-QSO is wasted because of the translations, and if you get rid of a number of -to- technical articles almost noone reads, very little of it is left. It’s a pity but this magazine has seen better days. (As a national association in a bilingual country, all articles in CQ-QSO have to be published in dutch as wel as in french)

I repeat my call: get rid of the (paper) magazine and spend the budget gained to promote and defend our hobby, to lobby, to protect and expand the frequency spectrum, to make it easier to get permission to put up antennas etc.

Now, will I pay this membership fee? Yes, and for these reasons:

  • a lot of my friends are members of KTK (the local division of uba)
  • as a former president of KTK I have a lot of respect for those who have followed me
  • the qsl-bureau (which is free for uba members)
  • because the uba is the only serious association of radioamateurs in Belgium

Kind regards

Jurgen ON5MF

One week after sending this mail I still haven’t got a reply… If I ever get one I’ll keep you posted.


5 thoughts on “To UBA or not to UBA?

  1. It is indeed a very pitiful determination that the paper magazine is mandatory. But even if they might save some money on it, the board will send even more directors to the Bodensee at the end of june with it. The €4150 paper postage stamps and €32293 of wasted paper are mind boggling. For that amount of money I can buy food for the next 20 years .. on a yearly basis.

  2. @ON5RZ with my post I never meant to shoot at the board of the UBA but rather to make some constructive comments. Of course everyone is free to decide whether he/she wants to be a member of the uba or not.

  3. @ON7GZ why don’t you reply to me instead of with bcc to only your friends?
    Your email proves to me (again) that the uba is the only serious association of radioamateurs in Belgium. You use a constructive ‘open’ letter to feed your war again between VRA and UBA.
    Maybe you should also read my post completely before you comment on me writing this in english on this blog. And you should read the disclaimer and the faq.

  4. 100% agreed. I will always happily pay my UBA membership fee but I absolutely DO NOT NEED the magazine.

    It is not only a waste of oceans of precious money (only the printer and BPost get better), it also takes a lot of human resources to fill it with ‘content’ and translate it. And I don’t like the content and find little things of interest, but no input = no output.

    My opinion: quit printing and sending out paper, the electronic PDF version is just as good. Now would be the time since they seem to be looking for a printer which means there is no current contract pending anymore.

    Use the budget to hire a GOOD bilingual lawyer / lobbyist to defend our case at all the departements that want to interfere with our hobby (local, regional, federal, health, building permits, spectrum…).

    The people at the UBA work hard and do a good job, but I’m afraid the time is not right for our idea of letting the printed magazine go. I’ve been saying this for almost 8 years too BTW. But CQ-QSO is holy and any dissident regard seems like blasphemy.

  5. I received this comment via e-mail a few days ago:
    “UBA … Almost four years later. Euh… it seems they have still not learned anything ;-)”

    Well, apparently not, still wasting money and paper for the magazine.

    Time to get into the 21st century!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *