PEF Secretary-Treasurer Kay Alison Wilkie delivered a comprehensive report to the delegates about the union’s financial state.
Wilkie said she is dedicated to financial management that is prudent, transparent, honest, ethical and accountable, and will actively assist divisions and regions. She spoke about a strategic budgeting process and how to best serve the membership and goals of the union, by aligning PEF’s resources intelligently.
She said PEF has a benefit from not realizing the drop-outs from the Janus v. American Federation of State, Municipal and County case decision that the union initially anticipated, so PEF has some resources to devote to capital improvements for its headquarter building, to provide a facility where PEF can empower its members.
“This will also provide funding to empower our activism, whether it is a fight-back campaign or to help support our contract team,” she said.
Wilkie warned the delegates that the attacks on labor are intensifying, as New Choice NY has deepened its campaign to tell workers they don’t have to pay union dues.
She presented a chart outlining the annual PEF membership over the last decade, and how PEF has remained strong, despite attrition and the Janus case decision in June.
“As of October 12, 2018, there have been 98 people who officially dropped out of PEF, and to date, 126 communications were received from members seeking information or indicating they want to stop paying union dues. Of the 126 requests, 69 decided to stay with their union,” Wilkie said.
For council leaders, Wilkie presented a nine-step best financial practices from the American Federation of Teachers, which included things such as required signatures, periodic written financial reports, an annual budget and audit, and the proper use of checks, credit cards and bank cards.
She reported that PEF hired the accounting firm of Bonadio & Co., LLP, that has significant union expertise, to audit PEF’s financial statements and to provide guidance.
For the twelve month fiscal period ending March 31, 2018, Wilkie said PEF’s net assets increased by $2,768,438 on unrestricted revenues of $27,939,608.
This increase is comprised of net gains due to revenues exceeding expenses by $1,285,513, and a gain due to the actuary adjustment for post-retirement benefits of $1,487,203. Wilkie reported that these were offset by a decrease in restricted assets of $4,278. Overall, PEF’s net assets improved on the balance sheet as of March 31, 2018, to $6,014,609, compared to $3,246,171 as of March 31, 2017.
“Ninety-four percent of PEF’s income is supported by member dues, so it is vital to keep member engagement a priority, and for members to sign their recommit cards,” Wilkie said. “And, we all must remember the way to achieve union power is by contributing to the Committee on Political Education (COPE). This is the way to protect the future of labor and to grow union power for the common good.” See the PEF Trustees’ Report, page 18
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