It’s has been eight months since I was elected Financial Secretary and I am feeling more comfortable with the new job and the responsibilities. I want to thank you for your support and also Greg & Noreen for helping me with the transition.
Our financial situation at the hall is stable, our dues dollars coming in are pretty close to our expenses. In saying that I am closely monitoring our spending and expenses which continue go up all the time and our membership numbers fluctuate with retirement and new units joining us. This year the local union is doing okay, however I am watching every expense and constantly looking for ways to save money while continuing to provide the same services. Membership numbers has a significant impact on our financial health, so I must thank Greg Brady and the National Organizing Department for brining in new members and organizing new units. As the membership at GM decreases, we have managed to offset the declining membership by brining in new members.
Six years ago, the membership approved the sale of the union hall and leased back the retiree lounge and offices. Selling the Union hall was not an easy decision to make, based on the cost to maintain the building it was definitely the right decision to make at the time. This year we renewed the 5-year lease, and negotiated an option for an additional 5 years. We also included an escape clause, where we can cancel the lease with 6 months notice. This gives us maximum flexibility to either extend the lease or cancel depending on what happens with our membership dues. We also paid rent one year in advance to reduce cost to membership.
This year, I attended my first Unifor Constitutional Convention and also the Ontario Regional Council. I would like to thank the membership for this opportunity to represent you. I gained valuable information and made lots of very good contacts that will help me serve you better. At the O.R.C., Peter Scott organized through our Local, a raffle of a 65″TV for the Alzheimer’s society. All 450 tickets were sold, which raised over $3,000 for Team Bob White. We also received a certificate from the Alzheimer’s society for raising over $75,000 in the last 3 years. The annual walk is scheduled on Sunday 26th of January at Brock University. If you would like to come out to walk with us or donate to Team Bob White please contact Peter Scott, John Pula or myself.
In September, the GM/UAW strike in the US impacted several of out units; GM, Spencer ARL, Tora and Knights FM all experienced lay offs. Unfortunately, our EI reps were also impacted. Because of this strike we were all very busy at the Union hall helping members with their EI and sub claims. Fortunately, we do have support at service Canada and we managed to get through this challenging time. I thank you for your patience during this busy period. Next September Unifor will be at the bargaining table with GM, Ford and Chrysler, at this time we don’t know who the target company will be, that is not announced until Labour Day 2020. In a contract year there is always a possibility of a work stoppage which can be a very stressful time for our members. From personal experience I would recommend that our members prepare for a possible reduction of income by saving a few dollars over the next nine months, you can reduce this possible stress considerably. At the Canadian Convention I supported a resolution to increase Unifor strike pay from $250 to $300, I am pleased to report the resolution was passed and takes affect in January 2020.
In the month of December, once again our members demonstrated their generosity which was overwhelming. Between donations at the plant gate, donations from various standing committees, the TV raffle and the social justice fund we raised over 22,000 dollars for the community of Niagara. Which is being distributed to various agencies around Niagara.
Here is the list of some of those agencies:
- YWCA $2,000.00
- GILLIAN PLACE $2,000.00
- COMMUNITY CARE $5,700.00
- HOPE CENTRE $2,000.00
- PORT CARES $2,000.00
- PROJECT SHARE $2,000.00
- FORT ERIE COMMUNITY OUTREACH $1,000.00
- SHOE BOX PROJECT $550.00
- RAFT $250.00
- COMMUNITY CARE ADOPT A FAMILY $1,000.00
- FACS Adopt a Youth $757.00
Total Donations $19,257.00
I would like to thank you for your generosity. there is always an out pouring of support to the community at Christmas but the we need to be cognitive of the fact that volunteers and donations is a needed all year round. If you are interested in volunteering our various standing committees are always looking for members to get involved in community outreach initiatives.
The Recreation Committee has organized a Free Family Skate on December 27th at the Thorold arena at 11am hope to see you & your family there… Free pop, water, Timbits and pizza. Click here for more information Family Skate
The Union hall will be closed Monday December 23rd and open on Thursday January 2nd 2020.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me here at the hall, 905 682 2611, Ext.227 or my cell at 905 964 6285.
Once again I would like to thank you all for your support and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.