E-Communicator Article

The President's Column

by Steve Weitekamp

March 2013

Having recently returned from the annual AMSA Conference, one of my takeaways was the importance of Pride and Passion on the professional success of the individual and the organization. I know from my frequent visits with members around the state that you share my Pride in our profession and in the important work that our members provide to the moving public. Also important is that we share a common Passion for the California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA), and all that we continue to accomplish together to improve the landscape for our membership and the moving public. CMSA frequently embarks on projects in support of its membership that have positive consequences for all permitted carriers. The case below is just one of many examples of why every permitted carrier needs to be a part of the CMSA.


If you have been following our electronic communications, you are well aware of the errors and omissions in the California Public Utilities Commissionís (CPUC) 2013 MAX4 Tariff Annual Rate Adjustment (ARA). I would like to thank the members who quickly identified the problems and notified us, with special recognition to Kathy Casey: She worked with her van line to provide us with spreadsheets that not only identified the problems, but provided solutions. CMSA notified CPUC officials and ensured that the calculation errors and omissions were corrected, to the benefit of all permitted carriers.


If the previous paragraph isnít clear, let me quickly review the issue. On January 10, 2013, the CPUC issued Resolution TL-19107 that addressed the 2013 MAX4 ARA and included what they believed to be tariff pages that reflected a 3 percent price increase. It became quickly apparent that there were major errors in the document. The tables that comprised Items 310 and 390 did not include a 3 percent increase from the previous tariff pages, and the labor rates for packing and unpacking in Item 340 had not been adjusted at all. After the CPUC made their initial correction, there were still minor calculation errors on Item 340 that required CMSA to provide a second notification and request for correction.


While CMSA understands that few review the background language that accompanies the annually revised tariff pages, we remain concerned that information we believe to be important and relevant about the ARA process are excluded from the document. The 3 percent tariff increase is a direct result of our 2010 application, which changed the productivity offset factor from 0.667 to 0.95 of appropriate CPI indexes. We believe that for reference, and to help build institutional knowledge, more information about the rule changes that resulted from our successful application should have been included. At the very least, the fact below should have been included:


ďCommencing with the tariff increase in January 2015, the productivity offset factor will be re-evaluated and reset every two years.  If productivity change is positive, the productivity offset factor will be set a 0.85; if productivity change is negative, it will be set at 0.95.Ē


If you have reviewed this column or any of my earlier emails on this issue, this is just another case where you have information that is not available to those that donít participate in CMSA. Other than our notification to our membership, there has been no announcement that the initially distributed tariff pages are incorrect, or that the corrections have been posted on the CPUC website, but not mailed to permitted carriers.


March 2013 - CMSA Communicator

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