Local 802 reports a gain in the first six months of 2014

Financial Vice President's Report

Volume 114, No. 11November, 2014

Tom Olcott
Trombonist Tom Olcott is the Recording Vice President of Local 802 and the supervisor of the union's concert department.

Trombonist Tom Olcott is the Recording Vice President of Local 802 and the supervisor of the union’s concert department.

As most of you know by now, one of my duties is to assist in the production of the twice-annual audit of the local’s finances and to report the results in Allegro. The audit for the first six months of 2014 was completed and reviewed by our accountants, Gould, Kobrick & Schlapp, PC, in late September. The audit report is published in the printed issue of Allegro. Please bear in mind that this report is a snapshot of the union’s finances as of June 30, 2014.

While the numbers are the numbers, it is also important to consider them in the context of the budgeting process. Every year, the Local 802 officers and the controller meet several times to create the budget. That process considers many factors. The most important ones are: 1) our best assessment of the state of the business and the flow of dues revenues; 2) recognition of future costs (upcoming negotiations, organizing campaigns, public relations and legal needs, building maintenance, etc.); and 3) close observation of prior trends in the budgeting generally. The primary goal is always to ensure that members’ money is spent responsibly.

Considering the above, this published audit should reassure us all. Compared to the same period in 2013, dues revenues are up by $115,000, including increases in both work dues and membership dues. We have negotiated new leases for our tenants on the sixth floor and show increased rental income of more than $20,000. Our investments, managed by Morgan Stanley, benefited from the positive stock market and investment climate and showed a gain of $60,000. Overall, the change in net assets is a gain of $251,330. That number places us well ahead of our budget – we are exceeding our projections and expectations.

This audit shows positive changes to our bottom line and shows Local 802 to be in a stable economic state. Considering the overall national economy, stability continues to be a form of success.

We all live in a professional music world that, to many members, seems to be declining. Considering the numbers reviewed above, I would advise members to note the increases in dues income and our overall gain through the first half of 2014. To put it crassly, more dues means that more members are working. We may actually be seeing the results of an improved economy. Stay tuned on that one, of course. Local 802 can never immunize itself from larger macroeconomic developments. But as the slump levels off, we gain more leverage with our employers, and we can push for better pay and benefits for our members. That is always our primary goal.

In summary, the recent audit shows that Local 802 is in good financial shape. We will certainly continue to provide dedicated service to our members. That has always been our pledge, and these audit numbers confirm our real ability to continue that commitment. As we proceed, please remember that you ARE the union, and that our unity is our greatest strength. Best to all.