PART two: FINANCE RESOLUTIONS
1. OPERATION KHOKHA
- Membership subscriptions are the major source of income for the union.
- The 7th National Congress; held in 2002; adopted Operation Khokha as the means of ensuring that the Union receives accurate subscriptions; that are paid by members; timeously and on a regular basis,
- Some if not most of local and regional companies at times default in terms of paying union subs into union account.
- Some national companies often delay subscriptions deduction from newly recruited members.
- Some national companies at times unilaterally stop deducting subscriptions from our members.
THEREFORE RESOLVE TO:
- Re-affirm the 7th National Congress resolution on Operation Khokha,
- Direct regions and locals to monitor the implementation of operation Khokha on monthly basis and submit regular reports to the General Secretary.
- Direct Shopstewards and Organisers coordinating, Local and Regional Companies, to monitor regular and accurate payment of subscriptions and submit regular reports to Local and Regional Structures,
- Direct National Teams and/or Company Councils to monitor membership levels and accurate and regular payment of subscriptions in their companies and submit quarterly reports to the National OCCBU Head and the Head of the Finance Department.
- 5. Direct Union structures to initiate legal action against any Company that is found to have defrauded the Union.
2. PAYMENT OF ORGANISERS’ TRAVEL CLAIMS
a) Travel claims; for Organisers; are paid from regional allocation;
b) The Union has shifted from Regional Allocations based on membership to needs based Regional allocations;
c) Regional allocations are determined through the budgetary process where regions submit their proposed budgets in advance of the process;
d) Some regions do not take the budgetary process serious and thus end up under-budgeting for traveling claims in particular;
e) The amount paid, for traveling claims, is inconsistent and inequitable in terms of regions.
- Travel claims is intended to assist officials to travel from one point to the other when rendering service and specifically covers traveling to address the following matters amongst other things:
- Negotiating for wages and substantive issues,
- Representing members at CCMA,
- Attending to grievances,
- Conducting establishment visits.
- This is a major expense in the regional allocation, especially in small regions.
THEREFORE RESOLVE THAT:
- RECs and the NEC/CEC should ensure that all regions take the budgetary process serious and stop taking short cuts and under-budgeting for travel claims;
- Travel claims should still be paid from regional allocations that are based on realistic proposed budgets from regions;
3. REGIONAL ALLOCATIONS
- The inconsistent payment of regional allocations has been a thorny issue for some regions and regions that account consistently in particular;
- Some regions have been accounting for each allocation received by the seventh of each month in terms of the financial policy of the Union;
- Irregular payment of Regional Allocations has hindered the smooth running of regions and has also created tensions between some regions and the National Finance Department headed by the National Treasurer.
- Some regions have tabled proposals, based on mandates from their REC meetings, that include payment of regional allocations through a debit order systems in CEC meetings;
- Decisions of Executive structures on consistent payment of regional allocations have not been implemented consistently;
- Regions should not suffer as a result of poor financial planning and failure to implement financial policies of the union;
- Allocations to regions are core in ensuring that regions implement organisational programmes as well as their financial responsibilities;
- There is a need to establish how the other regions have been operating without receiving allocations from the Head Office.
THEREFORE RESOLVES THAT:
- Executive Structures at National and Regional level should oversee and enforce compliance with the Union’s Financial policy and should not hesitate in instituting disciplinary action against Regional Office Bearers of regions that fail to account for allocations in terms of the Union’s Financial Policy;
- National Office Bearers should do everything in their power to ensure that Regional Allocations are paid on a regular basis and in terms of the Union’s Financial Policy.
4. POLICY ON STAFF LOANS
- The Financial Policy dictates that staff loan applications will only be considered/approved for the extraordinary expenses.
- The extra ordinary expenses are defined as education and funerals.
- While the policy defines education and funeral as extra ordinary expense it fails to give guidelines on what falls between the said categories and this has led to abuse.
- There is a contradiction in Clauses: 10.5 and 10.6 respectively as the policy cannot mention that the maximum payable must not exceed three months salary while at the same time we are saying one loan will have to be fully paid before any further loan will entertained with a maximum of two loans per annum.
- Our External Auditors have raised the issue of staff loans as a major concern
- The National Credit Act stipulates that if an employer exceeds an amount R 500,000. 00 on staff loans that employer must register as a Loan provider.
- The Union might have exceeded this amount and it would not be practical for it register as a loan provider.
- There is a need to set guidelines on the type of educational and funeral loans that are granted to staff members to eliminate the element of abuse.
- The staff loans are currently having a serious impact on the cash flow of the Union.
THEREFORE RESOLVES THAT:
- Executive Structures should, on an urgent basis, review the policy on Staff loans and such review should cover the following areas amongst other things:
1.1. The extraordinary expense related to the funeral must be defined to mean a funeral of a spouse and children.
1.2. The extraordinary expense related to education must be defined to mean that of children at a tertiary level only.
1.3. Those staff members applying for staff loans must sign contracts in terms of the Union’s Financial Policy;
1.4. The staff members can only be allowed to request for an advance after the 15th day of the month as granting advances before then amounts to a loan.
- The Union must debate what must happen to the current loan book to avoid penalties related to the National Credit Act.
5. SACCAWU FINANCIAL POLICY
- The SACCAWU Central Executive Committee has recently adopted amendments to the Financial Policy of the Union.
- The said amendments concentrated mainly on traveling and accommodation.
- Even though the CEC has adopted the said amendments there has been a serious flaw in the practical implementation of the said financial policy.
- Clause: 1.1. Of the Financial Policy has not taken into account that the SACCAWU NOBs are currently part of the NFC.
- The manner in which the National Finance Committee (and RFCs) has been operating militates against effective Financial management and oversight by Executive Structures of the Union over Finances,
- Executive Structures have not effectively played their oversight role which includes guidance to Finance Committees at Regional and National level;
- The fact that the National Treasurer is expected to chair the NFC meeting complicates matters as he is expected to give reports and account to the said structure.
- The NFC members have not been able to implement their Tasks and Duties and Powers as per Clause: 2 of the Financial Policy.
- The traveling allowance amounts as captured in Clause: 8 covering Africa has to be increased particularly as expenses in some of the African countries are extremely high.
THEREFORE RESOLVES THAT:
- Ensure that the composition of the NFC must include the NOBs if that is not reflecting in the policy document;
- The manner in which the NFC operates must be changed with the National Finance Coordinator assuming responsibility for tabling reports as well as income and expenditure statements, to NFC meetings, whilst the NFC meetings should still be chaired by the National Treasurer as a political Head of the Finance Department;
- The National Treasurer, as a political Head of the Finance Department, should only present reports, audits and income and expenditure statements to the National Congress and Executive structures of the Union;
- The NFC members must be empowered to be able to perform their task, duties and powers.
- 5. All Executive Structures must be trained on financial management, accounting, the Union’s Financial Policy as well as on how to read and analyse income and expenditure statements as well as audit reports so that they can effectively oversee management of the finances of the Union;
- The allowance for trips to Africa must be treated the same like those of Asia, Europe and America.
6. UNION SUBSCRIPTIONS
The Regional Congress Noting That:
- SACCAWU as a Union has last adjusted its monthly subscriptions at the 1999 National Congress.
- The said adjustment increased the minimum from R10-00 to R 15-00(Fifteen Rand) per month;
- There are still companies that have not converted to 1% (One Percent) and are still paying the previous 1999 Constitutional requirement of a maximum of amount of R 30,00 (Thirty Rand) whilst some are only paying R 15-00 without authorisation by Executive Structures;
- Our members at some of the Companies; Hotels and Casinos in particular; are in the process of converting to a percentage in line with the amended Constitution, even though there is some resistance in some of Companies.
- The membership of SACCAWU has increased drastically since it was last verified;
- The said increase in membership was in the main as a result of an aggressive recruitment of part-timers/flexi-timers and/or variable time employees;
- We are unable to affiliate to COSATU with the entire membership due to the fact that while the membership has increased this has not improved our finance drastically; whilst the Affiliation fee structure of the Federation is not equitable and works against Affiliates that have a low income base;
- Unfortunately some of the said part-timers/flexi-timers and/or variable time employees in some companies are paid in terms of Wholesale and Retail Sectoral Wage Determination which is in most instances averaging at R 1,500. 00 (One thousand five hundred rand) per month;
- The part-timers/flexi-timers and/or variable-time employees, due to scheduling of hours result in them being paid far less than R 1,500. 00 per month;
- The increase of the inflation, interest rates, and petrol and food prices has had an impact on the finances of the Union and that of its Staff members;
- The members who pay subscriptions by hand continuously pay R 15.00 (Fifteen Rand) per month irrespective of what they earn.
THEREFORE RESOLVES THAT:
- Clause 32.1 of the Constitution should be amended to increase the minimum payment of subscription to R 20.00 (Twenty Rand) per month;
- All companies that are still not paying subscriptions in terms of the SACCAWU Constitution must be instructed to do so after the SACCAWU National Congress. This process should involve direct consultation with members to avoid a backlash that may have unintended consequences for the Union and its programmes;
- All Local and Regional officials must be instructed to fight for organisational rights in all establishments where we do enjoy such rights.
7. SELF SUFFICIENCY
The Congress Noting That:
- The main income of SACCAWU as Trade Union is derived from the membership subscriptions.
- The said subscription has not been able to sustain the organizational and operational expenses of the union.
- The Union was had no choice but to engage with service providers who had to pay a service fee for the role the union is playing in engaging companies where we have membership for stop order facilities.
- The CEC of the Union decided that Old Mutual Group as a service provider of choice for individual members investments, life cover, funeral cover and long and short term insurance policies.
- The CEC of the Union decided that Ingwe Medical Aid must be service provider of choice for the medical aid of staff and members.
Noting Further That:
- SACCAWU is one of the major Affiliates of COSATU which does not have an investment company currently.
- Most of the unions with investment companies are currently self sufficient.
- The financial contributions made by Old Mutual Group Scheme from the year 2002 to 2007 has gone a long way in ensuring that the Union moves closer to being self sufficient.
- The financial contribution made by Ingwe Group Scheme from the year 2004 to 2007 has also gone a long way in ensuring that the Union moves closer to being self sufficient.
- There are still some weaknesses that have been identified by the Union in relation to the service offered to our members by the said service providers of choice.
Believing Further That:
- For us to achieve our principle goal of self sufficiency there is absolute necessity to establish an Investment Company.
- The said Investment Company will be of benefit to our staff, members and the union in general.
THE CONGRESS THEREFORE RESOLVES:
- Old Mutual Group Schemes and Ingwe Medical Aid must be maintained as the service provider of choice for the products that they are currently offering to union members; subject to them offering products that benefit members whilst maintain acceptable service levels to members;
- Notwithstanding this resolution Executive Structures are empowered to act in the best interests of members and the Union; including termination of contracts with the two service providers should the need arise;
- The SACCAWU NEC must be tasked with the responsibility of engaging both companies in regard to the increasing the Scheme Development Funds offered to the Union within six months after the SACCAWU National Congress;
- The SACCAWU NOBs as per the directive of the National Congress are instructed to invest a reasonable percentage of income from the said Scheme Development Funds per month for the next three years;
- The said investment of the portion of income from the Scheme Development should be effected as soon as possible and should be incorporated into annual budgets of the Union;
- OCCBU must be tasked with the responsibility of developing an aggressive campaign of ensuring that our members are aware of products offered by the said service providers to enable them to purchase such en masse;
- OCCBU must engage with both service providers to discuss reasons why there is a high rate of cancellation by members and whatever weaknesses identified with the said products;
- The Union must develop a programme to ensure that it develops its own Medical Aid Scheme;
- The Union must finally re-establish its Investment Company before the end of June 2009.