Every year, two audits must be conducted on the Component’s financial books. One audit is done by professional auditors, who ensure accounting procedures are properly followed. For this period, chartered accountants Resnick & Company were the auditors. (Please see attached Independent Auditors Report)
The other audit is done by Component Trustees. The role of Component Trustees is to make sure the Component Secretary-Treasurer is complying with the rules and responsibilities set out by the CUPE Constitution, the Airline Division Bylaws and the Component Bylaws. To be more specific, the most important duty of any Secretary-Treasurer is to ensure all income owed to the local(s) or component is collected and that the local(s) or component’s funds are properly spent.
This means ensuring that:
∙ Funds are spent the way the members intended.
∙ Financial mismanagement can be detected and reported.
Everyone who is an Air Canada/Rouge CUPE member pays union dues. There are no exceptions.
Air Canada deducts our union dues (1.5% of gross income) every month from our pay, and hands over the funds to the Component. In 2016, the year we are auditing, $5,113,614 million was collected in union dues. The Component Finance Administrator, divides these funds into three parts. Each local with more than 2,000 members receives $8.00 for every member plus $600.00 base amount every month. For the smaller locals, those with less than 2000 members, receive $8.00 for every member plus $3,250.00 base amount every month. The Component shall also remit an additional $3,000 a month for locals with less than 500 members. As per the Component Bylaws: Section (8.4.1).
CUPE National receives $18.09 from every member and the remainder stays at the Component. To illustrate this: if $60.00 is deducted in union dues from a member, $8.00 would go to their local, $18.09625 would go to CUPE National, and the remainder, approximately $33.91, stays at Component. Please note there was a ratified referendum in the late summer of 2014, that took effect in the fall to increase the per member monthly budget amount from $6.00 to $8.00, as well there was an additional budget added for bases with less than 500 members who would receive $3,000.00.
The Component also sends $0.10 cents for every member to the Airline Division of CUPE.
Our role as Trustees is to make sure that each local and CUPE National gets their portion of funds, and the dues used by the Component are spent by the guiding rules of the CUPE Constitution, the Component Bylaws and by you, the membership.
This report is made so all members can know and understand if their dues are properly spent and if any improvements are needed.
As was the case in our previous report last year, we continue to be 7 years behind in the Component Trustee audits largely due to the pandemic restrictions and difficulty maintaining the required number of trustees. We will provide more detail on the impact of the late completion of Component Trustee audits in our Report.
We met March 20 to 22, 2023 to complete this audit.
Due to the lateness of the audits, and a high turn over of union officers, and in order to avoid confusion and provide greater clarity, we will state names when needed.
In the year we are auditing, we are reviewing the work of the former Component Secretary-Treasurer, Antonius Lam.
We noticed some committees had gone over budget due to Bargaining and other expenditures. For example, under Donation, where the budget line was for $1,000, it went over by $29,000. This donation supported the research at the University of Washington by Professor Furlong for a project developing a blood test to detect engine oil contamination exposure.
We have made some recommendations which we hope ACCEX (Air Canada Component of CUPE Executive) will consider and adopt, but we recognize that many practices have changed and improved since 2016. For example, since March 2018, the new bookkeeping company, Rankin Spence Group, began using QuickBooks, which is far superior and more user-friendly than the accounting system used in 2016, called NewViews.
Both Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge CUPE members will receive this report and we hope that all members will take some time to read it. We are available to answer any questions regarding this report at any ACCEX or local meeting, if invited as Component Trustees.