As the newly-elected Secretary-Treasurer, my mandate, under the Air Canada Component By-Laws, requires that a response be provided to the Component Trustees report.
I have reviewed the proposals brought forward by the Trustees. While acknowledging that there is always room for improvement, it is apparent that there was effective fiscal administration prior to my term. I am pleased to add that during the research process, it was clear that we are in a strong financial position which bodes well for the upcoming negotiations.
Following you will find my responses to the Trustees’ recommendations.
Belfield Road Purchase
This concern was reported and replied to during the audit of October 2004 – June 2006.
Air Transat Funding
This concern was reported and replied to during the audit of October 2004 – June 2006 (see excerpt below).
“The Air Canada Component’s commitment to provide supplemental funding to the Air Transat Component is reflected in both the Air Canada Component and Airline Division By-laws.
While the Air Canada Membership could amend the Air Canada Component By-laws via ratification, the Airline Division By-laws would also require amendment (article 4.7.a).
Any amendment of the Airline Division By-laws (Article 5.9.c) require that a two thirds majority vote of delegates present and voting at Airline Division Conference support the amendment. In addition it requires agreement by all members of the Council of Component Presidents, of which Air Transat’s Component President is a member.
For clarity, the Air Transat Component would have to willingly absolve the Air Canada Component from the requirement to provide supplementary funding.”
Expense Policy Manual
The approving of cash advances is done on an exceptional basis. A written policy on cash advances will be included in the expense policy manual.
This recommendation appears not to have been investigated. All hotel reviews are scheduled by the Component Hotel Chairperson. Any crew layover property that is inspected more than once within the contractual period is due to reported safety and security issues that require immediate attention. Other than per diems, Air Canada covers all costs associated with site inspections.
Committees in General
A system of a base-by-base allocation of expenses was in place at the time of the audit.
Scheduling of Trustees
Both the Secretary-Treasurer and our In-house accountant remained available to the Trustees throughout the scheduled review. Unaudited financial statements were available at the time of the first scheduled review. Final Audited statements were provided to the Trustees as soon as they were completed by an external independent accounting firm.
All accounting procedures are reviewed on an annual basis as part of the production of the audited financial statements. These audited financial statements are prepared by an external accounting firm.
Wage Indemnity Plan
Although the W.I.P. Board of Trustees is an independent body they are accountable to the Air Canada Component. The Wage Indemnity Plan is governed by a “Declaration of Trust”. This document clearly outlines the reporting structure regarding finances and the W.I.P. Board of Trust’s responsibility to report to the Air Canada Component of CUPE Executive on an annual basis.
In the interest of clarity, the role of Component Trustees is to review the financial affairs of the Union and to offer recommendations if there are areas identified that could benefit from improvement.
The Component Executive (comprised of the Component President, Component Vice-President, Component Secretary-Treasurer and the 4 Local Base Presidents), is the governing body of the Union and may elect to adopt some or all of these recommendations, but there is no obligation to do so.
CUPE National has an established Trustee’s Audit Program which outlines and reviews the procedures and the role of the Trustees, the accountants and the Secretary-Treasurer in regards to the performing of the “Trustee Review”. This program would have been utilized had any issues regarding communication been identified during the audit.
The Component Officers thank the Trustees for their time and efforts in conducting the review and the resulting report.
Susan Holland, Component Secretary-Treasurer