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Office of Labor-Management Standards
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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

U.S. Department of Labor

Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
New Haven Resident Investigative Office
150 Court Street, Room 209
New Haven, CT 06510
(203)773-2130 Fax: (203)773-2333


May 15, 2009

Mr. Edward Springer, Treasurer
Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn Ind
P.O. Box 3242
Springfield, MA 01101-3242

Re: Case Number: ||||||||||

Dear Mr. Springer:

This office has recently completed an audit of Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn under the Compliance Audit Program (CAP) to determine your organization’s compliance with the provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). As discussed during the exit interview with you on May 14, 2009, the following problems were disclosed during the CAP. The matters listed below are not an exhaustive list of all possible problem areas since the audit conducted was limited in scope.

Recordkeeping Violations

Title II of the LMRDA establishes certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Section 206 requires, among other things, that labor organizations maintain adequate records for at least five years by which each receipt and disbursement of funds, as well as all account balances, can be verified, explained, and clarified. As a general rule, labor organizations must maintain all records used or received in the course of union business.

For disbursements, this includes not only original bills, invoices, receipts, vouchers, and applicable resolutions, but also documentation showing the nature of the union business requiring the disbursement, the goods or services received, and the identity of the recipient(s) of the goods or services. In most instances, this documentation requirement can be satisfied with a sufficiently descriptive expense receipt or invoice. If an expense receipt is not sufficiently descriptive, a union officer or employee should write a note on it providing the additional information. For money it receives, the labor organization must keep at least one record showing the date, amount, purpose, and source of that money. The labor organization must also retain bank records for all accounts.

The audit of Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn Ind for the audit year, FYE 12/31/2007, revealed the following recordkeeping violations:

1. Cancelled checks

There were no original cancelled checks in the records turned over to OLMS. You provided copies of checks printed out from the bank, but some checks that showed being cleared on the bank statements were not provided. These checks included Checks ||||| ||||| ||||| ||||| ||| |||||.

2. Back-up documentation

Your predecessor as Treasurer, ||||| ||||||||, who was in office during the audit year 1/1/2007-12/31/2007, did not maintain bills, invoices, or other back-up documentation as required by the LMRDA, or he did not turn such documentation over to you when you became Treasurer. Adequate documentation includes original expense receipts, invoices, or bills. If a bill or invoice is not sufficiently descriptive to show the nature of union business requiring the disbursement, then a union officer or employee should write a note on it providing additional required information.

Based on your assurance that Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn Ind is now and will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.

Reporting Violations

The audit disclosed a violation of LMRDA Section 201(b), which requires labor organizations to file annual financial reports accurately disclosing their financial condition and operations. The LM-3 filed by the Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn Ind for the fiscal year ended 12/31/2007 was deficient in the following areas:

1. Disbursements to Officers (LM-3)

The local did not include some disbursements to officers totaling approximately $7,448 in the amounts reported in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers). These amounts were apparently included in Item 54 (Other Disbursements). The unreported amounts included $3,178 paid to Marcia Blomberg, Secretary; $2,270 paid to Dianne Proulx, President; $650 paid to Edward Springer, Treasurer; $300 paid to Michael DeLisio, Director; $200 paid to Phillip Rodrigues, Director; and $100 paid to Jane Kaufman, Director.

The union must report most direct disbursements to local officers and some indirect disbursements made on behalf of its officers in Item 24. A “direct disbursement” to an officer is a payment made to an officer in the form of cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value. See the instructions for Item 24 for a discussion of certain direct disbursements to officers that do not have to be reported in Item 24. An “indirect disbursement” to an officer is a payment to another party (including a credit card company) for cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value received by or on behalf of an officer. However, indirect disbursements for temporary lodging (such as a union check issued to a hotel) or for transportation by a public carrier (such as an airline) for an officer traveling on union business should be reported in Item 48 (Office and Administrative Expense).

2. Delinquent Reporting

OLMS records show that Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn Ind is delinquent in that the LM-3 report for 12/31/2008 has not been received yet. You indicated that you filed the report in a timely fashion, but that it was rejected by the Washington office, and that you had subsequently refiled the report. You provided a copy of the refiled report to OLMS at the exit interview.

I am not requiring that Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn Ind file an amended LM-3 for 2007 to correct the deficient items, but the local has agreed to properly report the deficient items on all future reports it files with OLMS.

Other Violations

The audit disclosed the following other violation:

Bonding

The local did not provide proof that it was adequately bonded during the course of the audit. You advised that you had recently increased the amount that the local is bonded to $100,000, and stated that you would provide proof of such bonding by faxing a copy of the bond to the New Haven OLMS office at (203) 773-2333. Please provide such proof by Tuesday, May 19, 2007.

I want to extend my personal appreciation to Springfield Newspaper Employees Asn for the cooperation and courtesy extended during this compliance audit. I strongly recommend that you make sure this letter and the compliance assistance materials provided to you are passed on to future officers. If we can provide any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to call.

Sincerely,

 

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Investigator

cc: Dianne Proulx, President