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RE: SEA (was Sick Profession

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You have the hierarchy right, but still don't seem to grasp the notion
that SEAOC is _NOT_ a chapter of NCSEA.  This would mean that SEAOC
derives its power from NCSEA and was in essence established by NCSEA, by
way of NCSEA's consitution and/or bylaws.  This is not the case.  This
would assume that if NCSEA goes in a direction that SEAOC does not
approve of that SEAOC _COULD NOT_ break away without have to in essence
"dissolve" and re-establish under another name.  This is not the case.
This would assume that SEAOC attains its not-for-profit status as being
part of or a subset of NCSEA.  This is not the case (at least to me

SEAOC is a legally seperate entity that owes absolutely no allegiance to
NCSEA.  At _ANY_ time SEAOC could stop paying their dues to NCSEA yet
still remain as state organization.  SEAOC was not and is not established
by way of NCSEA's constitution, thus NCSEA cannot "revoke" SEAOC's "right"
to exist.  A chapter means that it is part of a parent organization that
established it and can in effect kill it at any time.  If SEAOC was a
chapter of NCSEA, then NCSEA could say "We don't like what you are doing"
and poof, dissolve SEAOC.

SEAOC is a member of NCSEA.  This is just as I am a member of ASCE or your
were a member of SEAOC at one time (and maybe are again...I don't know).
The only power NCSEA has over NCSEA is that NCSEA could "take away"
SEAOC's membership, which would only mean that SEAOC would no longer have
a voice what NCSEA does.

Further more, if SEAOC was a chapter of NCSEA, then you as a member of
SEAOC would in reality be a member of NCSEA.  You would then have the
right to place your vote for who you want to be on the board of NCSEA.
But, SEAOC members don't have that right.  Only SEAOC's appointed delegate
gets to vote on who will be on the NCSEA board and other NCSEA votes to
members.  You are correc that in some regard this is a little like the
electoral college.  However, keep in mind that the electorial college does
not dictate who serves us in Congress.  Congress is much like the board of
directors of an organization like SEAOC or NCSEA.  And we vote directly
for members of Congress.  We are both a citizen of the US and residents of
a state.  This means that we have a direct say in both who leads us at the
national level (with the exception of President/VP) and at the state
level.  This is not the case with NCSEA.  You only have a direct say in
who represents you at the state level in SEAOC.  Those that you then elect
to "serve" you at teh state level then have the direct say (through a
delegate that they appoint) in who will represent the profession at the
national level in NCSEA, assuming that your state ORGANIZATION decides to
be a member of NCSEA.

I will admit that this is a minor point, but I also believe that if you
don't bother to get the small stuff right, then how can you convince
others that you have got the big stuff right.  It is all in the details...


Ypsilanti, MI

On Mon, 10 Nov 2003, Dennis Wish wrote:

> Scott,
> I know we have had this discussion, but I think that the people who read
> this understand the hierarchy.
> (From bottom to top)
> Member
> SEA Chapter
> SEA State Chapter (where more than one local chapter exists such as in
> California)
> SEI & CASE (added representation with their own members)
> NCSEA - Representing the representation from each SEA state Chapter, SEI
> and CASE.
> "The Council is comprised of Member Organizations, each representing
> structural engineers within a state or group of states. Each Member
> Organization names one individual, and one alternate, to serve as a
> voting delegate at any NCSEA meeting."
> "Sustaining Members... are structural engineering firms, firms that
> employ structural engineers and individual structural engineers that are
> not attached to a Member Organization [assumed to mean Independent
> Engineers]"
> "Associate Member are nationally recognized bodies that are associated
> with the practice of structural engineering, who are invited and
> approved for this status by the NCSEA Board of Directors."
> "Affiliate Members are all other interested parties invited and approved
> by the Board of Directors."
> The point is that there is a hierarchy. If you need a professional to do
> the job, then advertise at each state level SEA or each local chapter of
> SEA (SEAOC is the state chapter, SEAOSC is Southern California, SEAoSD
> is San Diego chapter, SEAoCC is Central California chapter, and SEAoNC
> is the Northern California Chapter).
> Scott, as a representative or National Council for all SEA chapters,
> NCSEA will unite to create standards for which they believe should
> become the rules or laws that Engineers must follow. For example, Craig
> Barnes, SE published a "Basic Education for certification as a
> Structural Engineer" on their website at
> . I can't believe that at
> some time in the near future, NCSEA will be the national voice for all
> of the SEA chapters and for each of the members of SEA chapters through
> their representation.
> In a way, this is similar to starting an Electoral College. The
> Electoral College represented members who did not have a means of
> communicating with congress except through their elected representative.
> This is an outdated concept as we have the means electronically, to
> communicate ideologies and methodologies so that the members have an
> independent voice. Why? Because the issues are much more complicated
> today and one person can not possibly represent the beliefs of
> individuals on every topic or issue. I don't understand how anyone today
> can vote a party rather than a conscience. Similarly, there is more
> demand upon us as individual members to become involved in the issues
> and to take a stand on individual issues.
> If you are interested in the history of the political Electoral College,
> here is an excellent link to read:
> Personally, I think that there is too much information coming through
> many sources that we lose track of what is most important to us
> structurally. I believe that we each focus on the issues that most
> directly affect our practices and vote our conscience on the issues that
> most directly affect us.
> To do this, we need the issues, drafts of codes (which is rarely
> available to us without some cost) and a means to review the methodology
> in as convenient a manner as possible. It also means that we need to be
> able to trace back in the methodology to understand the intent of each
> section of code. I believe this is possible since we have been using
> electronic documents for more than ten years now. We should be able to
> track back the UBC on the West side of the Rockies and others may have
> suggestions for how to clearly document the codes they use.
> Scott, I hope you understand what my ultimate intent is. Each member is
> a voice and we don't need a generic representation who represents all
> issues - some of which we don't agree with. One person can not possibly
> represent the combination of needs that each one of us has and this is
> why the individual member is the key and the Internet is the tool.
> Dennis S. Wish, PE
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 8:31 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: SEA (was Sick Profession
> Dennis:
> Who is SEA?  Do you mean NCSEA?  Do you mean SEAOC?  Do you mean SEAMi?
> Do you mean SEAoT?
> I have raise this issue with you before.  You continue to refer to SEA
> "chapters" when you refer to organizations like SEAOC, which is
> incorrect.
> In your other message, you advocate researching the issues (which I have
> done with regards to the H1-B visa...I tend to preface my statements
> with
> "so I understand" etc because that is exactly what it
> understanding of the issue based upon visiting various sites and reading
> various sources of information...and I don't want someone to mistake my
> understanding as being anywhere near an "expert"
> otherwords,
> I might not fully comprehend all the issues)...I suggest you follow your
> own advice regarding "SEA".
> There is no such thing.  There is NCSEA which is an organization of
> organizations.  SEAOC, SEAMi, SEAoT, etc. _ARE NOT_ chapters of NCSEA.
> NCSEA has (virtually) no control over what SEAOC, SEAMi, SEAoT, etc do.
> SEAOC, et al, do _NOT_ derive their "power" from NCSEA.  In fact, it is
> the other way around.  SEAOC, et al, are MEMBERS of NCSEA.
> To be honest, this is a minor issue that does not really much deserve a
> message about it.  But, you should realize that our profession does not
> really have a national organization that DIRECTLY represents individuals
> for the purpose of promoting the profession, like AIA does for
> architects
> or ASCE does for the entire civil engineering profession.  NCSEA
> represents a bunch of STATE (or area) organizations, not individual
> engineers.  CASE represents ENGINEERING COMPANIES, not individual
> engineers.  The closest is SEI, which does represent individual
> engineers' interests, but is then to a certain degree "subservient" to
> ASCE.  Now, each STATE organization (such as SEAOC, SEAMi, etc) do in
> fact
> represent individual engineers.
> My point in the post it to try and get you to realize that when you
> advocate "SEA" to do something, that you are advocate something that is
> not really possible.  You want "SEA" to support something, implying that
> you want some national entity to step forward to represent the "common"
> structural engineer.  Well, that national entity does not really exist.
> NCSEA serves the wishes of its members, which are state organizations.
> So, what I am try to say is that it is not a simple as you make it out
> to
> be.  In many ways, there are little differences.  To proceed down the
> road(s) that you advocate you have to convince the members of NCSEA (if
> you want NCSEA to do something).  This means rather than just getting a
> large number of engineers to actively push for something, you really
> need
> to get that large number of engineers to push their STATE organizations
> (who are members of NCSEA...not all are) to then push NCSEA to do
> something.
> Regards,
> Scott
> Ypsilanti, MI
> On Mon, 10 Nov 2003, Dennis Wish wrote:
> > Excellent, Gail - you see the light behind the H-1B issues. Make the
> > work undesirable and at low wages. This justifies the government
> > requirements to satisfy application for H-1B employees and there is no
> > shortage of H-1B staff.
> >
> > You got the nail on the head - congratulations. I only hope the rest
> of
> > the community does not think you are nuts or a zealot or one of us
> > bigots.
> >
> >
> >
> > Now the work needs to start. We need to organize committees within our
> > own profession to establish working relationships between firms where
> > everyone may benefit. It won't yield the same profit margins on all
> jobs
> > that we want and we may be working for another firm at a percentage of
> > what we advertise our rates, but it does insure consistent work
> between
> > firms who are known to produce good work.
> >
> >
> >
> > Look, this is not an easy solution - it requires rules and it requires
> > work ethics, but it certainly can be done.
> >
> >
> >
> > So who is willing to take a lead and will SEA support it. If SEA takes
> a
> > stand on protecting jobs for engineers in the US by establishing
> working
> > relationship between firms, I'll rejoin and pay dues.
> >
> >
> >
> > Dennis S. Wish, PE
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: GSKWY(--nospam--at) [mailto:GSKWY(--nospam--at)]
> > Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 5:11 PM
> > To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> > Subject: Re: SICK PROFESSION
> >
> >
> >
> > Just some opinions - I can only speak for the DC area,  but structural
> > engineers tend to earn must less than other "professional
> occupations."
> >
> >
> >
> > Within the structural engineering industry,  there are certain firms
> > that are known for paying very low wages, or not providing very good
> > benefits,  or not providing very good training, or having pretty
> > undesirable working conditions.
> >
> >
> >
> > Although there are certainly exceptions, it is generally these firms
> > that have to resort to H-1B hiring. Since their wages and benefits
> (and
> > office cleaning expenses) are lower than other firms, they are often
> > able to underbid other firms, at least on the surface.
> >
> >
> >
> > I can look at the databases, and knowing what certain offices are
> like,
> > I know why they need to hire H-!B personnel. You can create a shortage
> > for any kind of worker, simply by making the work undesirable in some
> > way.
> >
> >
> >
> > None of the various databases I have seen are very complete (or up to
> > date), but they do point out the trends.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Gail Kelley
> >
> >
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