April 16, 2020
Dear Union Family
As the COVID Pandemic continues there has been more and more calls from Members regarding financial support from the Local. Unfortunately, Local 110 is not in the financial position to be able to take on a cost such as this, nor do we have a designated fund to provide support to Members during this crisis.
Since 2015, I have taken steps to reduce the costs for operating the Local. This has included such changes as reduction of the number of staff, changes to staff overtime, changes to service providers, changes in work scope, changes to the operation of the Training Trust Fund, changes to the payouts from the PITT Fund, and having a yearly budget. These changes have resulted in taking us from spending into deficits during years with high employment, to being able to put close to a million dollars each year into savings. However, 2019 was the exception, with a sharp drop in hours worked by the membership Local 110 had to utilize some of our reserve funds to cover operating costs. Although the audited financials for 2019 have not yet been completed, it is clear by our monthly financial reports that our Local was significantly below the estimated revenue, but still had the same fixed costs.
Now with the COVID Pandemic causing shutdowns to be postponed or cancelled, maintenance crews being reduced to essential staff only and construction being reduced or put on hold. Our members and our Local are facing an unexpected financial crunch that will be devastating for our organization.
Currently, Local 110 has just under 1800 dues paying members, with about 300 currently working. Our weekly working dues is $35 with 25 cents per hour field dues, however with everyone on odd shifts and reduced hours most people are not working 40 hours per week, so for this calculation we won’t use the 25 cents per hour field dues. Our weekly nonworking dues is $5. Reasonably Local 110 can estimate a total revenue of about $72,000 for the month of April. The current per capita to our International is $14 per month with an additional 1/2% of each member’s hourly wage for each hour worked, again with odd hours and rates for Apprentice and Journeyman being different we won’t add in the 1/2%, or the additional hourly contributions to different International funds. So, our base per capita to our International will be about $25,200. In the end our total operating capital for April will be about $46,800 if every member pays their individual dues in a timely manner. Out of this Local 110 still has to pay per capita to the Building Trades of Alberta, building utility costs, taxes, equipment maintenance, computer system costs, staff and officers wages and benefits, and other operating costs. I have used the International per capita to help highlight a recurring monthly cost, and how current revenue will require the Local to dangerously deplete our reserve funds. To this end our Local will be making more changes to our operation in the coming weeks to help us get through these turbulent times.
No one really knows when the restrictions from COVID will be fully lifted, and this is just one issue Alberta needs to get over to get people back to work. I would like to say we will soon be back to normal, but I am not sure what normal will look like in the near future. I will say that there are thousands of manhours of shutdown work still required across Alberta and it is not a question of “if” we will all be working again it is a question of “when”.