accounts

First Union take disclosure to new heights

by The Owl

As everyone knows The Owl fights hard for union members to make sure that union executives follow the law of the land and provide them with good information and file accounts on time.

The new union registry on the Societies website is making my life easier.

We have had the uncovering of undeclared millions in accounts by some unions but the FIRST Union have taken disclosure to a new level.

Observation by the Owl

The FIRST Union have filed their latest accounts.  Read more »

Tagged:

Meatworkers Union – Failure to Disclose

For Meat Workers Union Members only: presented by the Owl

Dear Meat Workers Union Members:

A number of people have been working very hard on your behalf to ensure you receive the best information available from your unions. We have received major criticism for our persistence in these matters but we are now able to provide you with your correct financial information.

We are not looking for a thank you or anything – we just want you to have the best. For the Owl I believe in process and a great advocate for members. Just like you pay money into kiwi saver there is governing laws around protecting your investment. Unions are incorporated societies and your investment needs to be protected as well. Failure to disclose is a serious matter.

The Owl has tabled a comparison of what was originally filed by your Union in 2011 and what the actual true figures were.

Please note that your Union auditors have stated that in their report “Also we have not been able to obtain sufficient audit evidence regarding revenues and expenses relating to Hawera Sub-Branch and 2010 comparatives of Otago Southland Branch”. These are not our words but your auditors.

The Owl does not dig around in rubbish bins for scandals and only uses information freely available in the public domain. I suggest members write to their Union and seek clarification on any matters.

What is worse – A privacy breach or a failure to disclose?


2011 2011 2011
Expenses  Orginally Filed  The “Real” position  Understated by:
ACC Levy  999  4,177  3,178
Affiliations and Capitation  93,236  93,236  -
Donations & Presentations  24,416  45,796  21,380
Fringe Benefit Tax  4,461  39,008  34,547
Health & Safety  55,743  79,326  23,583
Legal  56,161  350,632  294,471
Meetings and Conferences  160,553  456,598  296,045
Honorariums & Commissions  4,000  87,276  83,276
Salaries & Allowances  170,031  1,203,188  1,033,157
Superannuation  8,405  46,588  38,183
Travelling Car & Air  34,593  233,698  199,105
Accountancy  -  41,234  41,234
Audit  4,903  30,975  26,072
Depreciation  6,173  119,347  113,174
Loss on Fixed Assets  7,867  4,684 (3,183)
Office Expenses  68,704  346,562  277,858
Total expenses  686,205  3,182,325  2,482,080
Revenue
Membership Subscription  682,178  2,768,676  2,086,498
Interest Received  29,928  166,392  136,464
Rental Income  -  39,580  39,580
Sundry Income  -  110,990  110,990
 712,106  3,085,638  2,373,532
Taxation  8,230  49,705  41,475
Net Surplus (Loss) 17,671 (146,392) (128,721)

The 2012 NZCTU Affiliated Union Financials Awards

The 2012 NZCTU Affiliated Union Financials Awards – powered by the Owl

Firstly the Owl would like to thank Andrew Little, Helen Kelly and Gary Parsloe for getting me interested in union matters. As a ratepayer, taxpayer, business owner and an exporter the Ports strike was of some importance to me. Before the strike I never really cared.

I always agreed with the Unions that there may be a case to listen to and so I asked myself this simple question: if you want me to support you let me find out a little bit more about the union?

It was at this point I realised by looking through a number of websites and information freely available to the public that the unions under the umbrella of the NZCTU do not follow the laws of the land or allow their businesses to be scrutinized in the public domain as required by law.

I have promised for some time for the members of all NZCTU affiliated Unions that I would produce an award and ranking system. It has taken some time and while every effort has been made regarding the accuracy the Owl apologises for any incorrect information tabled in these awards and happy to correct.

The Owl driver for the Awards is to improve the transparency for members of Unions – as one person once wrote about my work “ owl you are the advocate for Union members”

Best Union Financial Performance, (based on filing returns on time, financial stewardship and overall presentation of accounts for members)

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS)

Commended

TUIA Union

Rail and Maritime Union

Worst Union Financial Performance, (based on filing returns on time, financial stewardship and overall presentation of accounts for members)

Cape Foulwind Drivers, Operators and General Workers Union

Biggest Losses Award (based on last two combined financial returns filed)

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU)  $1,103M Loss

Nominated

Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) $586,275.00 Loss

NZ Nurses Organisation (NZNO) $1,285,336.00 Loss

Best Disclosure Award

NZ Nurses Organisation (NZNO) $1,285,336.00 Loss (Over $1M paid to College Section Note 19)

Owl’s Comment: You have to really admire the NZNO Board they highlighted in Note 2 of the Accounts how many staff receive what salaries.

In 2010 19 staff were on salaries exceeding $100,000 – in 2009 it was 7

Missing in Action (The following NZCTU Affiliated Unions have either failed to file their returns or have filed their returns other than on the Incorporated Societies Register for the last three years.)

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (NZ Actors Equity)

NZ Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU)

Amalgamated Workers Union Northern (AWUNZ)

Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association (TIASA)

Update on how many NZCTU Affiliated Union Financial Returns are outstanding on the Incorporated Societies Website

2009 – 6 Returns

2010 – 16 Returns

2012 – 23 Returns (Some Unions are still in their Financial Year and have not been included)

Reg No.

Union

Balance Date

Return Last Filed

2012 Profit (Loss)

2011 Profit (Loss)

2010 Profit (Loss)

Notes to Accounts

References

1173856

Alloy Yachts Employees Federation

31-Mar

2011

(4,390)

4,923

Yes

 

508934

Amalgamated Workers Union Central (AWUNZ)

31-Mar

2010

 

60,931

Yes

 

605214

Amalgamated Workers Union Northern (AWUNZ)

31-Mar

2007

 

 

Yes

 

509077

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS)

31-Mar

2010

482,730

478,761

Yes

 

509008

Aviation and Marine Engineers Association (AMEA)

30-Jun

2011

37,719

76,644

Yes

 

508906

Bakers and Pastrycooks Union

31-Mar

2012

4,377

(798)

13,046

Yes

 

582250

Cape Foulwind Drivers, Operators and General  Union

 

2010

No

 

531945

Corrections Association of New Zealand (CANZ)

30-Jun

2011

 

 

No

 

530207

Customs Officers Association of New Zealand (COA)

30-Jun

2011

22,336

22,772

Yes

 

508924

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU)

31-Dec

2011

(540,231)

(563,667)

No

Note 1

508942

FIRST Union (Merger of Finsec and NDU)

30-Jun

2011

149,698

55,660

Yes

 

509015

Flight Attendants and Related Services Association

31-Mar

2010

 

(144,592)

No

 

508911

Furniture, Manufacturing & Associated Workers Union

31-Mar

2010

 

(138)

Yes

 

218744

Independent Schools Education Association

31-Jan

2011

15,675

7,917

Part

 

509002

Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ)

31-Mar

2011

(226,688)

(359,587)

Yes

 

 

NZ Actors Equity

 

 

 

 

Note 2

1235928

Midwifery Representation and Advisory Services

31-Mar

2011

38,150

22,276

Yes

 

508933

NZ Building Trades Union (NZBTU)

31-Mar

2010

 

(50,340)

Yes

 

562968

NZ Dairy Workers Union (DWU)

31-Mar

2012

191,517

170,019

19,755

Yes

 

509066

New Zealand Educational Institute, Te Riu Roa (NZEI)

31-Dec

2010

ND

 

(128,602)

Yes

Note 3

508904

NZ Meat Workers and Related Trades Union

30-Sep

2011

ND

17,672

49,654

Yes

 

509004

NZ Merchant Service Guild Industrial Union

31-Mar

2012

65,135

79,687

(20,594)

Yes

 

509078

NZ Nurses Organisation (NZNO)

31-Mar

2011

(512,173)

(773,163)

Yes

 

509071

NZ Post Primary Teachers Association

31-Mar

2010

 

363,434

Yes

 

 

NZ Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU)

 

 

 

 

Note 4

1351196

NZ Professional Footballers Association (NZPFA)

30-Jun

2012

(68,714)

21,696

Yes

 

508998

NZ Tramways and Public Transport Employees Union

31-Aug

2011

(33,276)

(7,874)

No

 

217777

NZ Writers Guild (NZWG)

31-Dec

2010

 

(18,422)

Yes

 

804452

Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa

31-Oct

2010

 

(11,137)

No

 

215410

Public Service Association (PSA)

31-Mar

2011

(260,340)

1,116,310

Yes

Note 5

643960

Rail & Maritime Union (RMTU)

30-Jun

2011

269,991

146,447

Yes

 

535869

Service & Food Workers Union – Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU)

31-Mar

2012

(80,247)

(206,445)

(27,381)

Yes

 

509041

Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU)

30-Jun

2011

120,643

75,358

Yes

 

509064

Tertiary Education Union

31-Dec

2010

 

232,266

Yes

Note 6

217145

Tertiary Institutes Allied Staff Association (TIASA)

31-Mar

2009

 

 

Note 7

1101157

TUIA Union

31-Mar

2012

33,947

23,103

5,394

Yes

 

597570

UNITE

31-Mar

2010

 

(64,714)

Yes

 

Notes

  1. Loss before revaluations
  2. Could not find on MED website
  3. Consolidated accounts before revaluations
  4. Could not find on MED website
  5. 2011 Tax bill of $1.2M due to depreciation changes
  6. 2009 Accounts had a ($419k) Loss
  7. No Accounts filed since 2009

 

Is the EPMU in Financial difficulties?

I wrote a while back predicting that the EPMU would report a huge loss in their 2011 Financial accounts (PDF, 438k)and I was correct. It wasn’t based on any rummaging around rubbish bins or receiving tips, it was based on following their balance sheet and profit and loss trends as reported on the MED website since 2005.

Their 2011 loss is $540k (Group) before tax and revaluations.

This takes their combined losses since 2005 to nearly $4m.

In 2005 the EPMU spent $352,840.00 on restructuring. Since 2005 their books have been full of revaluations, losses, transferring of debts to the EPMU Training and Education Foundation Trust and “prior period errors”. In the 2011 Statement of Changes in Equity there is a “prior period error” of $1.4M (note 25).

The EPMU payroll is nearly $7M – an average $60,000 gives them a payroll staff of approx. 116 people. (This is an estimate) – that’s a lot of staff and is 60% of their costs.

The erosion of equity is the members issue and for them to discuss.

The general public though is allowed to view the financial performance of an incorporated society as the incorporated societies listed receive special tax treatment. This is fair and equitable and the New Zealanders as a whole should be rewarded for effectively donating time and money to charitable causes by having transparency.

However any incorporated society still has an obligation for good financial management. The EPMU paid donations of $45,000.00 of which we know $40,000.00 was paid to the Labour Party according to the Party Donation lists.

Is it wise to make donations when a business is struggling cashflow wise?

Then again these accounts are for the period that Andrew Little was the boss and he was desperate for a good list ranking. Hopefully now he is gone the red ink can stop flowing.

Tagged:

Observation by the Owl – EPMU Foundation Trust

The EPMU Foundation Trust 2011 accounts have been filed:

Highlights:

  1. 2011 Loss of $61k (2010) Loss of $82k
  2. Equity – negative $2.2M (therefore technically insolvent but retains “on-going concern” status due to the EPMU not calling in their $5.6M loan (payable on demand) – see Observation
  3. EPMU loan has been repaid $652k (this was done by selling down investments) $947k realized
  4. Staff have numbers of 2 employees on an average of $100k
  5. There are prior period error adjustments (read observation)

The Owl’s observation:

So the Foundation sells assets to repay back loans – doesn’t that sound a lot like State Assets sales model – have the Foundation and EPMU stolen Nationals financial policy? There is a difference that National is using the money to invest in infrastructure and not pay back debt.

So what will the EPMU do with their $657,000 from the Foundation – invest or pay operational/infrastructure costs – we will only know once the EPMU have filed their accounts which were due a little while ago.

But here is the one that gets The Owl really going…there are “Prior Period errors (Note 19)”.

Miscalculations on sick leave. I repeat miss-calculations on employees SICK LEAVE.

How is it that Unions – the guardians of employee rights can’t get their own house in order?

I refer also to the previous Union accounts which I wrote about that were qualified by their auditors because the Union couldn’t calculate the holiday provision. There is only 2 staff. Lets count together 1…2

Really this type of error by Unions is unacceptable.

If I was a member….

Observation by the Owl

The Annual Union Financial Accounts reporting season starts soon with most Unions completing their AGMs and filing their respective audited returns.

A few have filed already but generally due out first week of June based on previous filing dates.

In particular the Owl will be interested to see if their is a turnaround in financial performance, clarity of any political party donations within the accounts, affiliated fees narrations, any additional branch/Trust notes to the accounts and good financial notes for the members to follow.

Finally it would be good to see if Union websites make a statement to members how they can obtain a full copy of their Unions accounts.

To help, here are the 3 most common ways:
1) Attend the AGM
2) Ask for a copy from your Union
3) Download on the MED website

Tagged:

Finally a balanced article on the AFFCO dispute

ᔥ stuff.co.nz

Jon Morgan doesn’t repeat Simon Oosterman’s bullshit press releases and stage managed protests, probably having read the Cecil Walker story and realising that Simon is very, very economical with the truth when talking to reporters.

Obviously not a left wing media hack Jon makes the following obvious point:

The protagonists, the Talley family on one side and the Meatworkers Union on the other, are an irresistible force coming up against an immovable object – or, as one industry source puts it, “a rock hitting a rock”.

Both have fearsome reputations, but the union’s is on the wane while the Talleys’ is on the rise.

A pity this is not obvious to the Meatworkers Union. Their unwillingness to let AFFCO manage their plants and their staff is the cause of this dispute. It is an ideological battle from the 70s that was lost a long time ago.

It is not just the ideological battle lost, the union is losing membership flat out as workers realise AFFCO will pay them a fair days wage for a fair days work and increase their salary by 5%.

Comment of the Day

From a reader in Wanganui on the post A reality check for Helen Kelly and Simon Oosterman.

Inventory2 comments:

Quite so WO; I drove past Imlay in Wanganui an hour or so ago. The afternoon shift had just arrived and day-shift was leaving. As soon as the last car left most of the MWU picketers left too.

But looking over to the plant, the car park was well populated, suggesting that it’s very much business as usual at Imlay for all except the remaining MWU lockout crew. And tellingly, the car park was much more heavily populated than a week or so ago, whilst the crew on the picket line is thinning. It must suck to be locked out, but obviously large numbers have not waited for the MWU to sort things out.

Meatworkers Union forced to re-file accounts

As regular readers will know I have been focusing on dodgy unions and their lackadaisical financial records.

One union which I highlighted was the Meatworkers and Related Trades Union in which I found over $4 million of members funds missing.

As a result of my investigations one of the meat companies laid a complaint with the Serious Fraud Office who declined to investigate. Perhaps they should have not been so hasty in dismissing the complaint. Perhaps Helen Kelly might like to apologise to AFFCO after labeling their complaint as “hatred”.

I have learned yesterday that the Meatworkers and Related Trades Union has been ordered by The Registrar of Incorporated Societies to comply with the law and has required the Union to re-do their latest financial statement to include the figures for the unincorporated branches.

This means that the union claims that it was all above board for them to not issue consolidated accounts and essentially hide members monies in subsidiaries was based on poor advice and they are now being required to properly file audited accounts.

This also means that the unincorporated societies are essentially breaking the Employment Relations Act and operating as illegal unions.

Perhaps Helen Kelly might like to apologise to AFFCO after labeling their complaint as “hatred”. It turns out that their complaint certainly looks like it had a great deal of merit but for the lack of focus of the regulator, more intent on looking for corporate fraud rather than fraud against working people. All AFFCO wanted was for members money to be properly accounted for, something you would have thought Helen Kelly and the CTU would have wanted for workers.

Perhaps too the Accountants Society should re-think their ignoring of wilful disobedience of legal requirement for unions to file full and proper accounts.

I await the new accounts that properly record the financial activities of the Meatworkers and Related Trades Union. Once they are filed we can then get a better picture on the true state of the union finances rather than the dodgy accounts filed thus far.

I believe it would be reasonable for the past few years to be likewise corrected so that a proper trace on funds can be completed.

Other unions are in a similar position, either with incomplete financial records as required by law, or with improper consolidation. They would do well to comply with the law.

An Observation by the Owl

Union’s seem to have an awful lot of trouble with filing things properly. The Owl has noticed some more dodgy paperwork.

More tidy up work and losses for Unions

The following Unions have shares in the following privately listed company.

JOINT UNION SERVICES LIMITED (15570)

National Distribution Union Inc.
The New Zealand Amalgamated Engineering Printing & Manufacturing Union Inc.
New Zealand Public Service Association Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi Inc.
Central Amalgamated Workers Union Inc.
Meat and Related trades Workers Union of Aotearoa Inc.
The Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota Inc.

The Owl has no problems with Unions having shares in privately listed companies and this one in particular was incorporated in 1963.

However the National Distribution no longer exists.

A number of Unions do not declare their shareholdings which brings me to three more observations:

  1. The Central Amalgamated Workers Union Incorporated has not files their statutory returns since 2009…why not? But in their 2009 account said they advanced money to the above Company.
  2. The Service and Food Workers Union have reported $250k worth of losses and spent $196k on “building activists and building solidarity”.
  3. Finsec who combined with the National Distribution Union recorded nearly $800k of losses up the amalgamation

Observation:

  1. Shareholders names need to be corrected
  2. Central Union needs to file their accounts urgently
  3. Some of the above Unions need to declare their shareholding in their accounts where applicable

Note: All information is sourced from the public domain.