A Clean (Financial) Bill of Health

Financial Vice President's Report

Volume CVII, No. 11November, 2007

Jay Blumenthal

The financial audits for the six months ending June 30, 2007 can be found in the printed version of Allegro, beginning on page 18. The results are good, showing a gain of $626,000. This was achieved by keeping a tight rein on expenses — in fact, our expenses were reduced by nearly $20,000 from the same six-month period in 2006 — and consistent income from work dues.

While certain expenses were higher (legal fees, postage, electricity, etc), total expenses for the period were down, including personnel and telephone.

Our investment income was up due to our having additional money available for investment and higher interest rates during the period.

So all in all, Local 802 remains financially sound. That said, any downturn in work can seriously impact our bottom line.

There are a growing number of economists that suggest a future slowing of the economy or even a possible recession. Should this come to pass, it most probably would have an adverse effect on our income.

Nothing has a greater negative impact to our finances than decreasing income from work dues. While we have no control over the U.S. economy, we can best prepare for a possible downturn by keeping our expenses in check and our money invested wisely.

There are some financial issues which remain unknown at the present time. Local 802 is currently involved in ongoing negotiations with OPEIU Local 153, the union that represents our clerical staff. We also have an upcoming negotiation next spring and summer with the internal union that represents our business reps.

In addition, other unknowns include unforeseen increases in the cost of health benefits, legal expenses, fuel costs and arbitration fees, to name but a few.

The officers together with our controller have begun the budget process for 2008. This process essentially allows us to plan ahead in an effort to balance our income with our expenses.

Budgeting is far from an exact science. Essentially it is a process of making educated guesses to determine what our anticipated income will be and what expenses will be incurred.

Our estimates tend to be conservative, as a budget that varies greatly from expectation can quickly lead to financial problems.

In the past, we have been able to meet or exceed our expectations on the income side and we have had good success in controlling those expenses which can be controlled.

Our current positive financial position allows us to provide for continuing building improvements.

In the very near future, we will be installing new carpeting on the third floor as well as certain areas on the first floor.

Also, the aging plumbing in our 13 restrooms (two restrooms per floor and one in the basement) needs replacement.

In addition, we are also looking at improvements to our Web site which will make it more attractive, provide for easier navigation and allow for certain member transactions.

All this is coming soon — so stay tuned!