In March the local Union held Executive Board Elections, at which time I announced my intention to retire at the end of my term July 1st 2016. As of the end of March the local unions finances are in relatively good shape. As you know over the past decade there has been a significant reduction of our membership and subsequently membership dues. With a declining membership we were forced to re evaluate the Local Unions finances and how we spend membership dues. There has been several changes to reduce costs, the most significant changes were the sale of the union hall and the signing of a five year lease with the option to extend the lease for another 5 years. The bylaws were re written and the number of full time officers at the hall was reduced by one person, we also stopped producing the 199 news to reduce costs associated with the publication and distribution. These changes significantly reduced both the monthly costs to the local union and the risk of large maintenance cost to maintain the property.
Other changes that were made were smaller in nature, we reduced the number of delegates that attend the OFL and CLC conventions, we switched to direct deposit and reduced the costs associated with our office administration. These were all smaller in nature however still represent a responsible reduction of costs. It was difficult to tighten our belt and make these changes, however the reality was if we didn’t make these changes we would have been in very poor financial shape and unable to fully service our members. Looking forward over the next year there will be a significant cost for the GM negotiations which we hope to offset at the bargaining table, this only occurs every four years. Long term the new executive board will need to make a long term plan and decide if they extend the current lease, build anew hall or look for alternative rental property to meet the needs of our members.
As I leave office the finances of the local union have been audited, the proceeds of the sale are in a interest bearing bond which generates an income for the hall. The general account has $318,517 the building corporation has $1,976,338, membership dues are fully paid and current, and the revenue from dues is sufficient to cover our monthly costs for the fiscal year. It is my opinion that as I prepare to leave office and turn over my keys to Dave De Marco the local union finances are in relatively good shape. I thank the membership for their ongoing support and ask that you support Dave in his new position.
It has been a privilege to represent the membership of Local 199 and again thank you for your support and trust.