Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Buffalo District Office
130 South Elmwood Street, Suite 510
Buffalo, NY 14202-2465
(716) 842-2900 Fax: (716) 842-2901
May 18, 2015
Mr. Michael Ventrella, Secretary-Treasurer
Stage & Picture Operators, Local 25
140 Metro Park #4
Rochester, NY 14623
Case Number: 110-6003752
LM Number: 019856
Dear Mr. Ventrella:
This office has recently completed an audit of Stage & Picture Operators, Local 25 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 Business Manager Thomas Mason on May 13, 2015, 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 25’s 2014 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. Disposition of Property
Local 25 did not maintain an inventory of union shirts, and other property it purchased, sold, or gave away. The union must report the value of any union property on hand at the beginning and end of each year in Item 30 (Other Assets) of the LM-3. The union must retain an inventory or similar record of property on hand to verify, clarify, and explain the information that must be reported in Item 30.
The union must record in at least one record the date and amount received from each sale of union shirts and other items.
2. Lack of Salary Authorization & Other Compensation
Local 25 did not maintain records to verify that the salaries reported in Item 24 (All Officer and Disbursements to Officers) of the LM-3 was the authorized amount and therefore was correctly reported. Authorization for vacation allowances and monthly fuel expenses were also not maintained. The union must keep a record, such as meeting minutes, to show the current salary and other authorized compensation by the entity or individual in the union with the authority to establish salaries and other disbursements to officers.
Based on your assurance that Local 25 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above 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 Labor Organization Annual Report (Form LM-3) filed by Local 25 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, was deficient in the following area:
Disbursements to Officers
Local 25 did not include indirect disbursements to officers totaling at least $2,000 in the amounts reported in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers). It appears the union erroneously reported these payments in Item 48 (Office & Administrative Expense).
The union must report most direct disbursements to Local 25 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).
I am not requiring that Local 25 file an amended LM report for 2014 to correct the deficient item, but Local 25 has agreed to properly report the deficient item on all future reports it files with OLMS.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to Stage & Picture Operators, Local 25 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: Thomas Mason, Business Manager
David Houser, President