Branch Treasurers Report 

Andrew Stuart

East of England Ambulance Branch 20106

AGM 2017

This is my first year in the role as your Branch Treasurer and it has been a very steep learning curve indeed. 

 

Although the elections took place at the beginning of the year, I only received the historical accounts on 22nd April and the Treasurers Computer on the 18th May, for which I would like to thank Steve Beckley for his assistance in organizing. 

 

I attended an Education Weekend for Officers on 20th May to receive training and have been responsible for the Accounts for May – December 2016. At the AGM on 24thFebruary 2016, a decision was made to have Wendy Senter and Jackie Robinson takeon the role of Internal Auditor. However, Unison rules will not allow a Treasurer making payments to self audit the accounts they are responsible for. Therefore the Branch decided that since no official handover had taken place and payments had been made for several months of 2016, a similar procedure should take place with the 2016 accounts and these have been sent to National. As the Accounts are unlikely to be returned before the AGM, these will be posted on the Website upon their return. 

 

The year has been very demanding, learning the role as I went along and using the services of national, particularly Barry Lyons to guide me when I had no understanding of Unison procedure. 

 

We suffered some months of delay in trying to move from cheque payments to BACS payments and the relative “slow” speed at which our bank UNITY TRUST BANK seem to work! Both payment systems are now in place. 

 

The Treasurers role, along with my full time job as a Specialist Clinician is more time consuming then I realised and half way through the year found myself almost doing some kind of accountancy work every day. With this in mind we recently agreed at RBC that all claims should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This will avoid the emails sometimes getting buried in the numerous daily emails and spam I get as I had originally given out my personal email account. Moving forward for 2017 can I please ask that this account is used and any other matters you can always get me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Some members post their claims forms, which I am more than happy to accept, some give them to me at RBC and others scan the form and receipts. Payments will be loaded around the 1st of each calendar month and around the middle of the month as RBC is usually at a similar time. 

 

So what can you do to help your Treasurer?

 

1. Send in claims promptly, claims greater than 3 months old should not be paid. This allows us to avoid unexpected, large claims which has an effect on our budget and working balance.

 

2. Fully complete the forms please, Base Station, Mileage travelled to work, sign them and fill in Bank Details. I have had to return several and even had members arrange a new bank account but OLBA was still holding the old one. 

 

 

3. There are new rules for claims from National, after all our funds are made up of members money in the form of subscriptions so we need to spend it properly. With this in mind I have designed a new claims form (attached) as one of the major changes is around an increase in the working day before some claims can now be made and whether or not its a rest day or abstraction. You will also need to record the time you start and finish working. On a work day you would normally fund your own mid day meal so its no different if you are doing Unison work instead. 

 

Our accounts may not be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests but we do always want to be able to happily justify what we our spending OUR MEMBERS money on. We would never want to be in a situation like the MPs expenses with the rights and wrongs of every claim being questioned. 

 

So how have we done this year? 

 

Funding throughout the year is always based on the number of members we have, the more members the more funds, but is also capped by our balance. There is a formula based on a value per head so ironically, if we have greater than this in reserve, the funding goes down, hence the recent spending on projects for our members benefit. 

 

Secondly, funding was also made up of an estimate plus an underpayment from the previous year when the actual numbers were known. Earlier this year Unison has been able to fund in “real time” so this has had an effect on a reduced monthly payment and I expect any underpayment from 2016 to greatly reduce or even disappear in 2017 so recruitment is a must. 

 

Our Branch Secretary Fraer was able to obtain an additional £11000 from FDO which has greatly helped our image within the Trust via recruitment and advertising.

 

 

The attached spread sheet gives you the main categories we have been spending money in. From the figures it is clear to see that rather than “running our branch” and meeting those costs, we are a very “pro-active branch”, spending money to benefit our members and seek out new ones via recruitment and keeping the Unison name in the forefront of what we do. 

 

I have also attached a Budget for 2017. As there was no budget loaded on OLBA at the end of 2015, we have spent most of the year deciding what we would do at RBC as and when the issue arose and then deciding if we could afford it. Hopefully, this way we will have some idea of what we would like to fund throughout the year and as the Budget is updated and ongoing, various areas can be merged or balances on estimated expense can be more easily obvious. 

 

Changes to expenses will be discussed as part of the Branch Rules Changes. 

 

Proposals :

 

1. The AGM accept the unaudited accounts as at 31st December 2016
2. The AGM accept the proposed Budget for 2017

 

 

Andrew Stuart

Branch Treasurer

East of England Ambulance Branch 20106

 

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