Whose money is it anyway?
EVERY QUARTER, the NUJ's Head office hands over around £6000 to London Freelance Branch as a "management allowance" -the cash we need to run ourselves. That means producing the Freelance, hiring meeting rooms and so on. A while back, we built up a surplus of around £10,000, which has been sitting in our bank account doing very little. Although the money counts against any overdraft the Union as a whole may have, it isn't available to Head Office to spend. And, right now, Head Office needs to spend it.
For that reason, at its last meeting, the branch agreed to remit £5000 to Head Office. Remitting is something all branches are asked to do when they hold more money than they need - though the sum in this case is on the large side.
The General Secretary has stressed that the Union's finances are a long way from being in dire straits, but they have been in the past, and no one wants us to get into that position again. Our branch can help ward off difficult times by a) remitting the money - and b) thinking seriously about ways we can save money ourselves. The cheque to Head Office constitutes a). The committee is going to come up with ideas for b). Watch this space - and all members, feel free to pitch in. It's our union, and the money comes from our subs, after all.