As per the Air Canada Bylaws, it is my responsibility to update the membership as to the component finances and the work I have been performing as the Component Secretary Treasurer.
The current term started in February 2017 so we are now at the halfway point and from a financial point of view many things have been accomplished. In my role as Component Secretary Treasurer, as per the Component Bylaws, my role and mandate is as follows:
6.3 The Component Secretary-Treasurer shall:
(a) Be responsible for the supervision of the financial affairs of the Component;
(b) Throughout his/her term, and on behalf of the Component membership, be responsible for maintaining, organizing, safeguarding, and keeping files, supporting documents, authorizations, invoices and/or vouchers for every disbursement made, receipts for all money sent to CUPE National, as well as records and supporting documents for all income received;
(c) Receive all revenue, initiation fees, dues, and assessments and deposit promptly all money with a bank or credit union;
(d) Prepare all CUPE National per capita forms as required and remit payment no later than the last day of the following month;
(e) Be responsible for establishing and supervising proper accounting procedures in the receipt and disbursement of funds in accordance with these Component bylaws;
(f) Prepare and submit to the ACCEX for approval a budget of the anticipated revenue and expenses of the Component for the fiscal year no later than 90 days after the beginning of the same fiscal year;
(g) Ensure that, except for ordinary expenses and budgeted expenses as approved at ACCEX meetings, no sum over $500.00 shall be spent for the purpose of a grant or contribution to a member or any cause outside CUPE, except by a notice of motion given in writing and dealt with at the following ACCEX meeting;
(h) Ensure quarterly financial statements are prepared and submitted to the ACCEX;
(i) Report on the administration of his/her office to meetings of the ACCEX;
(j) Be in charge of books, documents, files and effects of the Component, which shall, at all times, be subject to inspection by the Component President;
(k) Have the books audited by a qualified auditor annually and provide such audits to the Component Trustees, CUPE and the ACCEX;
(l) Have the books audited by the Component Trustees and provide such Trustees` Reports to CUPE;
(m) Make a full financial written report regularly to the ACC membership on the financial matters affecting the union;
(n) Be bonded through the master bond held by CUPE and any Secretary-Treasurer who cannot qualify for the bond shall be disqualified from office;
(o) On termination of office, surrender all books, seals and other properties of the Component to her/his successor;
(p) Keep an accurate, full and impartial record of each meeting of the ACCEX and any other meetings as may be deemed necessary and forward such records to members of the ACCEX within 30 days after the meeting;
(q) Record all duly approved alterations to the Component Bylaws and forward the amended Bylaws to the ACCEX within 30 days of the alteration;
(r) Audit the record of attendance to regular ACCEX meetings and submit same to the ACCEX annually; and
(s) In combination with any Company paid flight release, receive a supplementary payment from the Union, in order to receive a total monthly pay equal to the highest earner of the bargaining unit in that month.
The budget we are currently working in started July 1, 2017 and ends June 31, 2018. We have remained on track with all committees and expenses and will have a closer review of the income and expenses at the next ACCEX meeting in March 2018. Please watch for an invite to the open house and please bring any financial questions you may have for me to answer or research.
Software Updates – Further room to grow
In the last report I reported the following:
Another large project that was left from the previous term that has now been completed is the transition to our new accounting software, Newviews. We had been operating a completely outdated version for years and it was in need of an upgrade. This is money worth spending, and in my opinion was required to ensure we could keep accurate books and print proper financial reports. On the old system we would have to take the reports and re-do them in excel for distribution. This is not practical, nor efficient. The system is operational and we have noticed a smooth transition and we are able to now focus on other issues.
Since the update and implementation, it has become apparent that the system is not keeping up with our needs. As of July 2018, we will be moving over to Quick Books. This will enable us to be more efficient and allow all officers access to the books when needed. The transition process will be time consuming as we will have to move balances over to the new software, train current staff and become proficient with its reporting, however in the long run this will allow us to report better to the members, officers and ACCEX on the go forward.
Component Trustees and Audits
At the beginning of February 2018 our auditors came back with the completed Auditors report and your Executive voted in favour of accepting the report. The next process is for the Component Trustees to come into Belfield and commence the internal Trustee Audit. I have invited them to supply us with dates to commence the audit and look forward to them coming in and examining the books, preparing a report and asking many questions on behalf of the members.
I have also asked our in-house bookkeeper to commence the process of the next set of books to be audited. My goal is to get us up to date this term to the best of our ability.
When we came into office we inherited the past policies and procedures around how we banked and what was working for the past. As time went on it was noted that the National Bank was no longer working in our favour and to the needs we required.
In past Trustee audits, the trustees were clear the accounts not belonging to the Air Canada Component Of CUPE should not be on the same profile or accessible to Component. I also noted that the National Bank was not willing to extend our credit card purchasing power and had an unrealistic cap on our spending power, as well our banking fees were high and interest was low.
I have moved us over to the Meridian Bank. They have offered us a flat fee for our accounts, higher credit card capacity to meet our needs, more accessible online banking options, available support when needed, and access for all officers to do payments with a secondary check as required.
We are now paying the locals their dues in an expedited manner, on the most part, and doing this through direct deposit. Members on staff and full time officers and committee members receiving wages are also now paid by direct deposit. Direct deposit is a flat fee, offers savings, is environmentally friendly and easier to track.
As we have started a new fiscal year July 1, 2017 and we are half way through, reviewing our finances, we are on target for most budget items, expenses and income.
Union dues collected to date are: $5,926,450.76 and of that $971,632.00 have gone to your locals and $1,605,843.13 has gone to the National Union.
Wishing everyone a safe week ahead!