Public Employee Press
DC 37s 2007 Budget
Union on solid fiscal ground
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By MAF MISBAH UDDIN
Treasurer, District Council
This years budget adopted in March ensures that
DC 37 will remain fiscally healthy while we continue to improve services for our
The DC 37 Executive Board, which serves as the unions
budget committee, approved the 2007 budget March 21 after carefully examining
the fiscal plan. The board also approved this years capital budget.
The $38.2 million operating budget represents a 3.8 percent increase over
last years $36.7 million spending plan. We feel the increase is prudent
as it is roughly in line with the rate of inflation over the past year.
The budget, which assumes our membership will remain at 121,000, projects that
the union will have a deficit of $462,256 this year.
As the unions
chief financial officer, I frown upon budget shortfalls. But within the context
of a budget of $38 million, this years projected deficit is miniscule, and
we expect to cover it by the end of the year through additional income and/or
Be assured that we will continue to follow the fiscal
practices that have helped us control deficit spending in recent years and achieve
budget surpluses. These practices have included greater day-to-day monitoring
of spending and requiring prior approval of items costing over $2,000 and bidding
on expenditures of more than $10,000. We have also succeeded in holding down spending
on conferences and conventions.
Part of the reason for increased spending
this year is that we will be dedicating more funding for the unions frontline
divisional services, which help members deal with job-related problems and the
filing of grievances. The budget provides for five new division positions.
I am particularly excited about the boards decision to support Executive
Director Lillian Roberts request for $200,000 for organizing seed money.
21st Century Initiative
By allocating funds for organizing, we
are working to fulfill the 21st Century Initiative, a mandate of our parent union,
the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
the 2006 AFSCME convention in Chicago, our members were among the nearly 3,500
delegates who supported the bold plan, which aims to fund organizing, bolster
political action, develop a leadership institution and create an army of 40,000
full-time activists. All district councils in the country, including DC 37, will
receive support for organizing from AFSCME, which is relaxing the councils
financial obligation, amounting to $30 million over three years.
last issue, Public Employee Press reported that workers at MetroPlus, a health
maintenance organization at the Health and Hospitals Corp., voted in February
to become members of Local 1549 after a major organizing drive. The decision of
these workers to join the DC 37 family is the first major demonstration of how
we will carry out the spirit of the $60 million 21st Century Initiative at AFSCME,
where we are working on identifying additional groups of workers who need union
I would like to thank members of the DC 37 Executive
Board elected to their posts in January for their conscientious
examination of our budget proposal this year. Ordinarily we aim to have the budget
set up before the New Year. But we decided to hold off on approving the budget
until this year because we believed the new board should have an opportunity to
scrutinize and vote upon the 2007 budget.
In addition, I want to thank
the division and department directors for carefully preparing their budget proposals
in consultation with me. Finally, we are especially grateful to have the professional
support of the staff in the DC 37 Accounting Dept., who did the number-crunching
necessary for presenting a responsible spending plan to the board. Preparing the
budget is a complex and tedious process. There is not much room for flexibility,
because nearly three-quarters of our operating expenses are devoted to personnel-related
capital budget is slightly over $525,000. Presenting the separate spending plan
is a reform that I introduced three years ago to improve the unions long-term
planning. In 2007, the capital budget covers a range of items including furniture,
computer hardware, digital voice recorders, printers and digital mailing systems.
In a few months, we will prepare our midyear budget outlook, and I will report
my findings to the DC 37 Executive Board and Delegates Council, which is the highest
governing body of the union. I encourage union leaders and rank-and-file members
to contact my office at 212-815-7675 with any concerns or questions about the
economic picture at DC 37. In the meantime, I wish to assure you again that we
are in good fiscal health and that we will continue to keep a close watch over
the unions spending.