Merseyside Amalgamated Branch
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Financial Secretary's Annual Report 2010

This year again we have had to review our Financial commitments for the forthcoming year. Early this year the Branches photo copiers lease was due to expire so we invited the lease company to visit the Branch and see what the latest photo copiers had to offer and above all the cost and possible savings that could be made.

The latest generation of photo copiers can be linked to all are current computers and the copier acts in the same way as a printer. As the rep explained we can eliminate all the printers in the Branch and further make savings on the ink cartridges/toners that they supported.

The original cost per copy with the old agreement was 1.69p per copy and with the new agreement this was brought down to 0.47p per copy.

The new copier can scan documents and send them to a few of the Branch computers. The copier can do a number of other tasks, duplexing, presenting documents into booklet form and a host of other tasks.

This was presented to the Branch Committee and agreed that we move forward with the new lease. It was stated that this photo copier was the state of the art and a brilliant piece of kit.

Another move is that we have had recently the opportunity from another mobile phone company to review our current contract and replace it with another better deal. We are at this moment awaiting the rep concerned to return from holiday as to whether the deal is still on board.

If you can appreciate the Branch Organisers Annual Report with the finances of the Union nationally it becomes apparent that Headquarters has to cut their cloth accordingly. They have to make financial savings in a lot of areas. If you think that the savings are restricted to Headquarters then think again. The buck does not end there, Branches are going to have to play their part and it's going to be pain full, that is if we want to stay as a “Stand Alone Union”.

The only other solution would be to merge with another Union.

I hope that you can appreciate the challenges that have faced the Branch since I was asked to take on board the Financial Secretary's position in 2005 which I secured unopposed. That period I now refer to, as the dark days were I only had one month's rebate to play with. Over those five years I have had to look to the future of the Union Nationally and locally (this is without the use of a crystal ball) and it has been a constant battle to save, save and save whilst to continue to offer a good service to the members. With the closures over the past five years and especially the pending closure of Copperas Hill financial plans had to be drawn up to ensure that if we do not retain the membership (rebate) of the new Warrington Mail Centre then we were still in a position to financially survive as a Stand Alone Branch .

The savings included moving from Rail Warrants to booking on line, getting better mobile phone contracts, getting rid of an old antiquated and costly computer system and replacing it with a newer one, reviewing the landlines the Branch had, renting part of the building off and of late paying the mortgage of on the building.

At the end of 2010 Jimmy McNicholls, a former Members Auditor, became alarmed at the state of the Unions finances generally and invited every Branch in the Union to an open meeting in Manchester expressing his concern of the state of the finances of this union. Tony Kearns was informed of the meeting and attended the afternoon session. It was a well-attended meeting and a whole range of issues were raised. The general feeling at the end of the meeting was that it was paramount that that this Union stays as a Stand Alone Union and in order to safeguard that status then it was apparent that hard financial decisions would have to be made throughout the Union.

You can understand now how important it is that this Branch retains the right to represent the membership in the new Warrington Mail Centre. There are going to be some hard decisions to be made in the near future by this Branch as to what we can and cannot fund if we are to survive as a Stand Alone Branch and support a Stand Alone Union .

This only leaves me to say again a big thanks to all the Officers, Area Rep's and Workplace Rep's for their support over the last few trying years and wish everybody a Happy & Prosperous New Year.

Ray Lucas

Financial Secretary

  CWU Merseyside Amalgamated Branch
Branch: 0151 709 1243
Fax: 0151 709 8269
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