The National Dairy Workers Union – James Ritchie

Observation by the Owl

James Ritchie, the National Secretary for The NZ Dairy Workers Union has been head hunted for an international post. The OWL congratulates him on his new appointment. He may before he leaves want to file the Unions 2011 Financial Accounts which based on previous years filing of returns is about 9 months late.

Instructions on how to file are on the MED website.


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  • southtop

    any chance of a look at the TEU accounts?

  • owl

    For sure..what is wrong with the TEU accounts?

  • Southtop

    Nothing I know of but interesting accounting appears systemic through the union movement

  • owl

    Southtop – thank you for your lead – yes the TEU acounts are interesting. Firstly there is no 2009 accounts filed – so you get the comparatives from the 2010 accounts for the 2009 year and the compare to 2008 accounts – hmmm interestingly the opening equity and closing equity are different then in 2009. There looks to be accumulation of funds from AUS? and a change of name – but in 2009 there was a $400k LOSS.
    However I will work through over the coming day but the MOST interesting part of the accounts is the General Election Fund. Donation or expenses?

    I allude to this because the Dairy Union have this .08% Election Fund as well. They paid an affiliation fee to the Labour Party – then pay a donation then pay election expenses. More to come.

    My question to me: “is a Union expense to fund election campaigns a donation?”

    However when James files the 2011 accounts I will be able to have a better understanding.

    Just for amusement value only – I noticed in the NZ Herald he was head hunted. The 2010 accounts shows $30k of international travel. Head hunted or self promotion?

  • southtop

    hmmm, how many other unions have been………oh never mind
    First order of business should be that all union fees are collected through a subscription basis rather than via the employer.
    And before screams occur regarding additional cost, a database, and emailed accounts will not be overly expensive.

  • rocky

    It wasn’t the United Nations Development Fund that headhunted him was it. Their Head would at least understand his accounting practises.

  • owl

    Just to clarify and correct – the OWL always apologises

    In the Dairy Union accounts the transfer .8% of fees to the Election Campaign Fund not .08%.

    In 2009 the then paid $40715.00 in election campaigning. They paid $6,948.00 to the Labour Party for affiliation fees.
    Donation or electioneering expenses? I am not an expert.

    I have read their constitution and the objects of the constitution does not stipulate the members funds should be spent on the Labour Party or Election Campaigning. Am I correct – happy to be corrected. Any voting members able to enlighten?

    Happy to apologise if I have miss-interpreted

  • guest

    WO have you ever met the OWL?

  • guest

    Good work…keep digging. Why aren’t the EMPU accounts filed yet? Something to hide?

  • oldaccountant

    It was election year for EMPU….dollar bet huge massive loss and they are delaying the release while little is in the headlights

    • Greg M

      Absolutely. What really pisses me off with all the unions is the fact that the paying members are donating to the Labour party, whether they want to or not.
      It should be a separate line in your levy, for example:
      1: union fees
      2: donation to the Labour party ( tick the yes/no box)

      Also, why anyone in a high position such as this would be “headhunted” when they clearly have no knowledge or respect for legal accounting requirements I find hard to believe. Most likely he spent $30k of members funds on a sales trip selling himself.
      As always, very good observations OWL.