Bill Monroe of the CPA firm Haley and Associates will be on hand to answer questions and discuss financial governance and related issues of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild at our upcoming Executive Council meeting on April 7 at 10 am at the union office in Suite 300 at 1225 I Street NW in Washington.
As the new president of the WBNG, I sat down with Monroe to talk about his ideas on ways we can use better financial governance to increase transparency and accountability, and to create systems that allow us to do more.
For instance, we could use 50/50 raffles to raise money for gas cards, so out-of-area members could drive to membership meetings. We could offer shirts or other union-themed items to activists or for sale. First, though, we need our membership to authorize it and set up procedures to collect and disburse the money. It’s as simple as that.
The Department of Labor says five years of financial information must be available to any member upon request.
Monroe expressed tremendous confidence in the WBNG staff and the integrity of the WBNG system for tracking expenses, receipts and other relevant information. He expresses this opinion because his firm produces an annual audit based on testing a random and representative number of expenses in our file.
Monroe pays particular attention to things things like credit cards that are vulnerable to abuse. Monroe’s firm has handled the WBNG finances for more than 15 years, and his firm specializes in labor unions.
At our meeting, Monroe will discuss the production of a cost-efficient review of our union’s finances, with interested union members as collaborators. This review could look over the past five years, and it would lead to a report, which would be available to any member who wants it. The review would also include recommendations for items to be included in a policy and procedures manual, which would, if adopted by the local, give clarity and authorization to our financial picture. Here is a link to sample policies and procedures our union could draw from.
You can attend our upcoming meeting in person or by phone. It is an general membership meeting, every members can vote, and all members are welcome. All members can speak to issues. If you have any questions or concerns prior, please feel free to reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Struckman, President WBNG