Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Seattle District Office
1111 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 398-8099 Fax:(206) 398-8090
December 5, 2008
Ms. Patricia Ceis, Financial Secretary
Transit Union, Local 1576
2810 Lombard Avenue
Everett, WA 98201-3695
LM File Number: 529-057
Case Number: -
Dear Ms. Ceis:
This office has recently completed an audit of Transit Union, Local 1576 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 and President Kathleen Custer on November 6,2008, 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.
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 Local 1576's 2007 records revealed the following recordkeeping violation:
Local 1576 did not require officers to submit itemized receipts for meal expenses
totaling at least $5,600. The union must maintain itemized receipts provided by
restaurants to officers. These itemized receipts are necessary to determine if such
disbursements are for union business purposes and to sufficiently fulfill the
recordkeeping requirement of LMRDA Section 206.
Local 1576's records of meal expenses did not include written explanations of union business conducted or the names and titles of the persons incurring the restaurant charges. For example, a review of the local's visa records found 98 receipts that were missing required documentation. Union records of meal expenses must include written explanations of the union business conducted and the full names and titles of all persons who incurred the restaurant charges. Also, the records retained must identify the names of the restaurants where the officers or employees incurred meal expenses. Based on your assurance that Local 1576 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.
Failure to File Bylaws
The audit disclosed a violation of LMRDA Section 201(a), which requires that a union submit a copy of its revised constitution and bylaws with its LM report when it makes changes to its constitution or bylaws. Local 1576 amended its constitution and bylaws in 2006, but did not file a copy with its LM report for that year. Local 1576 has now filed a copy of its constitution and bylaws.
The audit revealed a violation of LMRDA Section 502 (Bonding), which requires that union officers and employees be bonded for no less than 10 percent of the total funds those individuals or their predecessors handled during the preceding fiscal year. The audit revealed that Local 1576's officers were not bonded for the minimum amount required at the time of the audit. However, the union obtained adequate bonding coverage and provided evidence of this to OLMS during the audit. As a result, OLMS will take no further enforcement action regarding this issue.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to Transit Union, Local 1576 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.
cc: Ms. Kathleen Custer, President