Union Finances Back in the Black

Controller's Report

Volume CIV, No. 4April, 2004

Jon Bogert

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, Local 802 enjoyed a gain of $142,109, compared with a loss of $348,570 in the prior year. The audited financial statements for the year appear on page 18 of the April 2004 issue of Allegro (not online).

The year-to-year improvement in profitability of $490,679 was the result of an increase in revenues of $234,266, or 5 percent, while expenses declined $256,413, also 5 percent.

The 2003 increase in revenues was due to a substantial increase in work dues of just under 8 percent. Work dues on Broadway increased 9.5 percent in 2003 over the prior year; concert work dues increased 6.6 percent; and work dues from other single and steady engagements increased 28 percent. Recording work dues were essentially unchanged year-to-year, as were basic membership dues.

The decline in other income in 2003 was due to a decrease in Allegro advertising and to a decline in investment income due to market interest rate fluctuations. These were offset, in part, by the receipt in 2003 of two bequests totaling almost $50,000.

With respect to expenses, departmental costs, in total, declined $187,791, or 4.7 percent. Approximately $125,000 of this decrease was due to a change in the billing policy applicable to the health benefits plan. In addition, severance costs declined $38,697 during 2003. The increases in organizing costs and in legal fees include the costs of the Broadway negotiations and strike. Expenses related to the live music campaign declined during 2003 subsequent to the settlement of the Broadway contract. The increase in occupancy costs was primarily for real estate taxes and energy costs for the headquarters building.

As commented in my report six months ago, the results for 2003, although favorably affected by some one-time factors, are a welcome improvement over the losses incurred during 2001 and 2002. Local 802’s net assets have, once again, grown to exceed $4 million. Together with the dues increase approved by the membership last October, we are in an excellent position to expand our organizing activities and to promote the cause of live music.