Summer is a great time for rest and relaxation. It is also a time to take care of all those chores that are on the sometimes dreaded “to-do” list…things we have been too busy to get done during the other nine or ten months of the year.
Ask yourself: What is on my local’s “to-do” list? For local executives, you may want to look at your by-laws, and the state of your local finances.
This may be the last thing you have in mind as you relax in your favourite summer spot with a cool beverage of choice. For 80 per cent of our locals, their Trustee Audit Reports (TARs) are up to date, and those locals have a total of over $9 million in funds at their disposal. This is a great asset to assist locals for what is sure to be an extremely busy fall and winter.
However, there are still 20 per cent of our locals who are not receiving their rebates because their TARs are not up to date. That means there is approximately $1.6 million sitting in a Head Office account when it could be used to conduct local union business, hold demos or rallies, pay for local meetings, and more.
If your local is one of these, OPSEU is here to help. With the help of your staff representative and Head Office, we can work together to get your records up to date and the money flowing back into your local.
Don’t forget about by-laws. A strong set of by-laws, authorized by the President’s Office, can go a long way to making sure that your local finances don’t become a problem. Have a clear set of guidelines about what expenses the local does and does not cover outside of OPSEU’s main expense reimbursement. Ensure members know how to properly fill out an expense claim, with receipts if necessary.
So don’t delay. Whether you think you need it or not, now is a good chance to take some time to maybe review your local’s finances and bylaws. I am doing the same here, and will send out OPSEU’s current financial statements with the next set of rebates. You will then have the chance to look at the central union’s finances as well.
Don’t forget, not all of us will be having a relaxing summer. On some of our members’ "to do list" will be preparing for a potential strike, or looking for work as a result of being given a McGuinty Pink Slip. Many of our students and part-time fixed-term workers will have very little time off. To all those members we wish them our best and pledge our ongoing support.
Whatever you are doing, I truly hope you all have a safe and healthy summer with your family and friends.
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
First Vice-President/Treasurer, OPSEU