Posts Tagged ‘Making Cents e-newsletter’

S&T Making Cents newsletter: January 2020

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It’s time to get the TAR in order

The SMART Constitution requires the Treasurer’s Annual Report (TAR) to be presented to the membership and then filed at the start of the calendar year. Local trustees are to assemble this month to perform an annual audit of a Local’s finances and review the receipts and disbursements for the prior year before signing the report. The report is then presented at the Local’s next meeting and copies are filed and submitted to the SMART-TD offices before a Feb. 20 deadline.

The 2019 TAR has substantial differences from past years. Historically, the TAR simply generated a high-level financial overview of a local’s books, but over the last several years the Field Support Team has seen an increase in locals that get behind on other required business-related duties. This revised TAR will flag items that are not getting completed to help a Local catch up on its bookkeeping.

Local Treasurers can work along with Trustees to review these items and formulate a plan for fixing them as part of the report to the SMART-TD office. Additionally, this will allow Field Support to identify Locals needing additional assistance earlier so that catching up and getting into compliance is not a monumental undertaking.

The revised TAR will be more detailed and include other action items that should be reviewed and signed off on by Local Trustees and show a better, more detailed position of the Local’s fiscal outlook along with its compliance with SMART constitutional and federal requirements.

With the changes, S&Ts and local officers should note that the revised TAR will only be available via the WinStabs-NMR software. There is no longer a paper form. If you have not yet started using WinStabs-NMR, contact the Field Audit Support Team IMMEDIATELY.

New information has been posted on the S&T Tools page of the SMART-TD website to help you along in this process under the “Required Reports” header. These guides to completing the TAR include:

Other steps will help you to make composing the report easier. These include:

  • Having documentation of 2019’s Local meetings and the physical assets of the Local.
  • Having the Local’s EFTPS PIN handy or establishing an account via EFTPS.gov.
  • Checking that Treasurer info is accurate and current.
  • Reviewing LCA Maintenance, updating the task list, keeping and reconciling checking and savings statements and being current on eBills in WinStabs-NMR.

While the changes in this year’s TAR require adjustments on the part of Local officers, these differences will help your Local to emerge from the process with a clearer view of where the Local stands from a money perspective.


Your guide to the year ahead

The essential guide to keeping track of your local’s finances is now available on the TD website.

The 2020 treasurer’s month-to-month guide serves as a checklist that goes step by step through the year showing what deadlines need to be met in order to make your job easier and to keep Local finances running smoothly.

Follow the link to download it from the SMART-TD website.

January 2020

Important dates

• Jan. 20 — Registration deadline for Kansas City, Mo., workshops.

• Jan. 27-29 — S&T workshop in Kansas City, Mo.

• Jan. 30 — Local president/trustee workshop in Kansas City, Mo.

Before Jan. 31 —
• OE-1a report due
[More info] • Quarterly Form 940 (FUTA) taxes must be deposited (FICA only) via EFTPS.
[More info] • Quarterly Form 941 taxes due via EFTPS.
[More info]• Quarterly Form 944 due (if notified by IRS) via EFTPS.
[More info]• W-2s due to employees

• By Feb. 20 — Treasurer’s annual report (TAR) for 2019 and Local President Financial Oversight forms due to TD.

Completed reports can be submitted directly from WinStabs-NMR or send a copy of the signed and dated form to the TD office.

Email:
localreports@group.smart-union.org
(For OE-1a reports, email oe1a@group.smart-union.org)

Mail:
Field Support Department

SMART Transportation Division
24950 Country Club Blvd.,
Suite 340
North Olmsted, OH 44070


Questions?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends, and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@
group.smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Training opportunities for Local officers

Workshop offerings are being finalized for S&Ts who are interested in learning the ins-and-outs of running the finances of your Local.

Among the topics to be discussed are:

  • Using TD Connect
  • WinStabs
  • Creating required reports
  • Financial pitfalls to avoid

The first workshop for S&Ts in Kansas City, Mo., scheduled for Jan. 27 to 30 has been filled. A second workshop on Jan. 30 for Local Presidents and Trustees to better understand their fiscal role in the Local has limited space remaining ahead of the Jan. 20 registration deadline.

Additional workshops in 2020 are in the process of being finalized in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and New Orleans as well as one planned during the Cleveland Regional Meeting in August.

Details and registration information for all workshops will be posted to the Training & Events section of the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website as well as emailed out through the Making Cents enewsletter. Don’t miss out on these chances to expand or refresh your knowledge of the duties of your office!

S&T Making Cents newsletter: November 2019

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Tweaking the TAR

When the beginning of the calendar year rolls around, the SMART Constitution requires the Treasurer’s Annual Report (TAR) to be presented to the membership and then filed.

The procedure kicks off when trustees assemble in January for this annual audit of a Local’s finances and review the receipts and disbursements for the prior year before signing the report. The report is then presented at the local’s next meeting and copies are filed and submitted to the SMART TD offices before a Feb. 20 deadline.

With the implementation of WinStabs-NMR, the TAR will be undergoing changes effective with the 2019 report. Historically, the TAR simply generated a high-level financial overview of the Local’s books, but over the last several years the Field Audit Support Team has seen an increase in locals that get behind on other required business-related duties. This revised TAR will flag items that are not getting completed.

Local Treasurers can work along with Local Trustees to review these items and formulate a plan for fixing them as part of the report to the SMART TD office. Additionally, this will allow the Field Audit Support Team to identify Locals needing additional support at an earlier stage so that catching up and getting into compliance is not a monumental undertaking.

The revised TAR will be more detailed and include other action items that should be reviewed and signed off on by Local Trustees. The new report will show a better, more detailed position of the Local’s fiscal outlook along with its compliance with SMART constitutional and federal requirements.

With the addition of these changes, more information will be necessary to gather to generate the 2019 TAR. Treasurers can start preparing now by reviewing or gathering the following:

  • The revised TAR will only be available via the next WinStabs-NMR version release. There is no longer a paper form. If you have not yet started using WinStabs-NMR, contact the Field Audit Support Team IMMEDIATELY.
  • Prepare a list of all meeting dates: Was there a quorum? Were minutes recorded?
  • Prepare a list of physical assets that belong to the Local: e.g. computers, file cabinets, desks, etc.
  • Have the Local’s EFTPS PIN handy. The IRS prefers Locals to deposit federal taxes through EFTPS.gov. If the local doesn’t already have an account, there is a guide here to assist with enrolling.
  • Check that the Treasurer information in WinStabs-NMR is accurate and current.
  • Review LCA Maintenance under Process eBill in WinStabs-NMR. There should be one or more entries for each LCA for each eBill worked.
  • Update the Task List which can be found in the Reports Tab in WinStabs-NMR.
  • Keep checking statements and savings statements, if applicable, reconciled monthly in WinStabs-NMR.
  • Keep current with eBill submission. eBills that remain late as of Dec. 31 will be documented on the revised TAR.

IMPORTANT: Closing out
the 2019 eBill

All treasurers should make every attempt to complete all 2019 eBills before December 31, 2019. All bill adjustments to ANY 2019 eBill must be made prior to March 31st, 2020. Treasurers will not be able to add any dues to collect or dues to return after March 31st.

On April 1, 2020, treasurers will be locked out of making any additional adjustments to 2019 eBills.



Important dates

• Nov. 20 — Monthly billing due to SMART TD office.

• Dec. 14 — Deposit CT-1 and Form 941 taxes. Quarterly 940 taxes (FICA only) also must be deposited.

• Dec. 20 — Monthly billing due to SMART TD office.

• Dec. 27 — Deadline to reserve discounted room rate for K.C. workshops.

• Jan. 20 — Registration deadline for Kansas City, Mo., workshops.

• Jan. 27-29 — S&T workshop in Kansas City, Mo.

• Jan. 30 — Local president/trustee workshop in Kansas City, Mo.

• By January 31 — Quarterly Form 940 (FUTA) taxes must be deposited (FICA only).

https://www.eftps.gov/eftps

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 940 tax

• By Feb. 20 — Treasurer’s annual report (TAR) for 2019 and Local President Financial Oversight forms are due to the TD office.

Questions
about the S&T’s roles and responsibilities?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends, and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@group.
smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Training opportunities for Local officers

Workshop offerings are being finalized for S&Ts who are interested in learning the ins-and-outs of running the finances of your Local.

Among the topics to be discussed are:

  • Using TD Connect
  • WinStabs
  • Creating required reports
  • Financial pitfalls to avoid

The first workshops will take place in Kansas City from Jan. 27 to 30, 2020. The first workshop — Jan. 27 to 29 — is intensely focused on the role of the Secretary, Treasurer or S&T in managing a Local’s finances. A second workshop on Jan. 30 is for Local Presidents and Trustees to better understand their role in the Local from a fiscal perspective.

Additional workshops in 2020 are in the process of being finalized in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and New Orleans as well as one planned during the Cleveland Regional Meeting in August.

Details and registration information for all workshops will be posted to the SMART TD website as well as emailed out. Don’t miss out on this chance to expand or refresh your knowledge of the duties of your office!


About the Field Audit Support team

So what’s the Field Audit Support Team about?

We’ve been conditioned throughout our lives to tighten up anytime the word “audit” is used because it brings up thoughts of sitting across from an IRS tax collector being hassled and then owing gobs of money if our personal returns are reviewed.

And yes, IRS audits can bring stress and the possibility of penalty because of financial missteps.

But even though you see “Audit” in our name, the SMART TD Field Audit Support Team is in your corner. Our mission is to help you to get your Local’s books in order, to keep accurate records and to help your Local’s finances stay out of the crosshairs of any number of agencies: the IRS, the Department of Labor or the Railroad Retirement Board.

We realize the kind of stress that these responsibilities can create, and we are here to SUPPORT you if you need assistance in working through any fiscal concerns or difficulties.

“The big thing is that we want all of the locals to establish compliance with all federal regulations and with the requirements set forth by the SMART Constitution,” Field Auditor John Purcell says.

If the SMART requirements are followed, then it stands to follow that state, local and municipal tax regulations will be complied with as well as those on the federal level, Purcell said.

“We’re here to help you deal with the headaches and the heartaches that come with all of these scattered compliance issues with the end goal of getting your local into 100% compliance,” he said. “The message is — we’re here to help.”

The Field Audit Support Team is on your side and we’re here to provide financial help FAST to your Local. Call us at 216-227-5444 or email fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org for any assistance you might need.


Ask an Auditor

Q: WinStabs is giving me a message to reconcile my bank statement before I print my OE1a. I have already reconciled my statement — why is it telling me to do that?

A: It is simply a reminder to make sure you have reconciled your statement and that it is balanced before you print the report to assure the information on the report is accurate.

If you have reconciled your statement, simply ignore the message and continue.

Note that you will get a similar message when you pull up your IRS Form 941 worksheets.

To submit a question for the Ask an Auditor feature, email the Field Audit Support Team at fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org.

S&T Making Cents newsletter: December 2018

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Meet your Membership Representative teams

SMART Transportation Division has restructured at its headquarters to help assist Local Treasurers with the implementation and use of TD Connect and the eBill system.

As part of this process, a team of Membership Representatives has been assigned to provide specialized service to your local. These staff members will work to familiarize themselves with each of the locals they serve. With time and interaction with you, they will be able to provide specialized and efficient service to assist with your challenges as a Local Treasurer.

Beginning in January 2019, your Membership Representative team will be your go-to resource for any and all questions you may have as a Local Treasurer. If your Membership Representative is unable to answer your questions, they will escalate it to the appropriate person or department.

These assignments will be communicated to locals through introductory letters sent out with the December mailings or you can see them on the SMART TD website. Your team members will be available to help with any questions and concerns as the transition to TD Connect and the new version of WinStabs progresses.

Team members are:

Team A: Amanda Casale and Paula Grant
Amanda: 216-227-5239
Paula: 216-227-5268
Team email: MRteamA@group.smart-union.org

Team B: Kim Dissell and Greg Hengesbaugh
Kim: 216-227-5295
Greg: 216-227-5203
Team email: MRteamB@group.smart-union.org

Team C: Mike Vega
Phone: 216-227-5266
Team email: MRteamC@group.smart-union.org

Your team members will be in the SMART TD office between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. While we encourage you to do your best to contact your Membership Representative during office hours, SMART TD also is offering limited after-hours support to treasurers from Jan. 14, 2019, through Feb. 28, 2019. The after-hours support hotline is 216-227-5280, and it will be operational 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday and noon to 4 p.m. EST on Saturdays.

Follow this link for the full list of assigned Membership Representatives.

Questions
about the S&T’s roles and responsibilities?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends, and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@group.
smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Important dates

• Jan. 2 — First credentials for TD Connect are released.

• Jan. 7 to 9 — TD Connect workshop in Kansas City, Mo.

• Jan. 14 — First eBill is released on new system.

• Jan. 18 — Hotel registration deadline for Salt Lake City TD Connect workshop.

• Jan. 21 — Registration deadline for TD Connect workshop in Minneapolis, Minn.

• By January 31 — Quarterly Form 940 (FUTA) taxes must be deposited (FICA only):

https://www.eftps.gov/eftps

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 940 tax

• By Feb. 20 — Treasurer’s annual report (TAR) for 2018 and Local President Financial Oversight forms are due to the TD office.


Two 2019 TD Connect workshops remain open!

The TD Connect workshops held over the autumn all filled to capacity and offered an overview to local S&Ts about the changes coming with the new eBill system. (Click on links to register):

  • January 7, 8 & 9, 2019 – Kansas City, Mo. at the Drury Inn and Suites, 7900 Northwest Tiffany Springs, Kansas City, MO 64153. WORKSHOP FILLED — waitlist available.
  • January 28, 29, & 30, 2019 – Minneapolis, Minn.at the Minneapolis United Labor Center, 312 Central Ave. S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55414. WORKSHOP FILLED — waitlist available.
  • February 11, 12 & 13, 2019 – Salt Lake City, Utah at the Double Tree by Hilton Salt Lake City Airport, 5151 Wiley Post Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84116. The workshop will be in the Bryce Room. Registration deadline is Feb. 4, 2019.

Workshop sessions will run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on all three days. Click here for a flier with specific workshop details.

Space in these workshops is limited and you’re encouraged to register well in advance to secure your spot.

For additional information about these workshops or to be placed on a waitlist, call Alyssa Patchin at 216-227-5281 or email apatchin@smart-union.org.

Rolling into TD Connect

Step 1: Remit your December 2018 paper bill to the TD office.

Step 2: The TD office will supply TD Connect credentials for all Local officers and Local chairpersons by email and mail within two business days of receiving your last paper bill, but no earlier than Jan. 2.

Step 3: Close out your 2018 books in WinStabs 5.09.

  • Monthly taxes for November must have been paid by Dec. 15. Also, it’s recommended to pay December taxes by Dec. 28 to make closing out the year easier.
  • It’s recommended that outstanding checks older than 90 days be brought back as a returned check in WinStabs along with notifying the payee and financial institution. Use caution on applying a stop payment as it may result in a bank charge. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please call the help desk at 216-227-5444.

Step 4: Upload your 2018 year-end data from WinStabs 5.09 into TD Connect.

Step 5: Work your January 2019 eBill in TD Connect.

Step 6: Download WinStabs NMR from your Local home page in TD Connect. (see the “Installation of WinStabs-NMR guide”)

Step 7: Have member variances that you would like to request to be rolled over into eBill?

  • Complete this form
  • You have until March 30, 2019, to request a member variance rollover.

Websites hosted on utu.org domain are being retired

If your local is one of the 30 or so that have sites hosted on the utu.org web domain and the site has been updated in the last two years, you should have received an email from TD Senior Communications Coordinator Ben Nagy in late November notifying you of the impending retirement of these sites.

Effective Jan. 2, 2019, the utu.org-hosted sites will no longer be able to be updated and will be effectively frozen before being taken offline sometime in the near future. This is due to computer platform changes that have occurred in the years since those sites were introduced.

Locals who have one of these sites are encouraged to contact Nagy at 216-227-5283 or bnagy@smart-union.org to discuss Union Hall, a free web hosting tool and platform provided to SMART TD by the AFL-CIO.

If your local is interested in establishing its own website, the Union Hall platform could help get you and your local up and running at no charge. The AFL-CIO offers personalized training and the website setup takes less than a week. To get the process started, contact Nagy in the TD office at the phone number and email listed above.


Ask an Auditor

Q: I’m getting ready for the annual January audit of my local’s books. What do I need to do to be prepared for this process?

The annual audit (also known as the Treasurer’s Annual Report or TAR) is required by the SMART Constitution. Local trustees are to assemble in January and review the receipts and disbursements for the prior year before signing the report. The report is then presented at the local’s next meeting and copies are filed and submitted to the SMART TD offices before the Feb. 20 deadline.

The key step to getting the TAR ready is to ensure that all finances are in balance, which include all your Local’s checking, savings and investment accounts. All 12 bank statements for the entire fiscal year running January 1 to December 31 of the previous year need to be reconciled one at a time, and each must be in balance.

After balancing your accounts, use WinStabs to review any outstanding items that need to be resolved such as checks or disbursements that did not clear before Dec. 31. After these are balanced, WinStabs will notify you that the account is balanced and you are then ready to print out your report for the trustees to review and sign.

Local Trustees must understand and agree with what is in the report in order to sign it. After the three Trustees have signed, the report should be mailed to the SMART TD offices to the attention of the Field Audit and Support Department or scanned and emailed to Alyssa Patchin (apatchin@smart-union.org).

Additional details about filing the TAR are available on the SMART TD website in “SMART TD Guide: Preparing the TAR for Trustee Review.”

To submit questions to Ask an Auditor, email fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org.

S&T Making Cents newsletter: October 2018

Making cents logo


Local S&Ts gathered Oct. 8 to 10 in New Haven, Conn., for the first of five workshops about the TD Connect eBill system.

There’s still a chance to attend
a TD Connect workshop!

  TD Connect system workshops are planned on the following dates in select locations (click on links to register):

  • November 12, 13 & 14, 2018 – Birmingham, Ala.SESSION FULL – REGISTRATION CLOSED, SEE WAITLIST INFO BELOW.
  • November 27, 28 & 29, 2018 – Rosemead, Calif. SESSION FULL – REGISTRATION CLOSED, SEE WAITLIST INFO BELOW.

  Workshop sessions will run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on all three days. Click here for a flier with specific workshop details.

  Space in these workshops is limited. A wait list is available for full workshops.

  For additional information about these workshops, call Alyssa Patchin at 216-227-5281 or email apatchin@smart-union.org.

How to try out TD Connect

  Local S&Ts:
TD Connect is on its way, and you can get an idea of how the new eBill system is going to make recordkeeping for your local easier by checking it out early. Fill out this form to register for access to the demonstration version of TD Connect, which will allow you to try out the system.


.

Be ready to use the new eBill system:

  • All 2018 paper (aka green-bar) bills must be submitted to the SMART TD office prior to gaining access to eBill. We recommend working through your December 2018 bill as soon as possible. Do not wait until the December 20th deadline!
  • Local Treasurers must work to clear outstanding member variances.
  • Local Treasurers must work to develop a system between your members, local chairmen, local president and local treasurer to gather dates required to process E-49 statuses.

Questions
about the S&T’s roles and responsibilities?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends, and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@group.
smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Important dates coming up

Important dates

• By October 31 — Quarterly Form 940 (FUTA) taxes must be deposited (FICA only):

https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 940 tax

• By October 31 — Form 941 quarterly tax return must be filed with the IRS

https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 941 tax

• Nov. 5 — Registration closes for the Nov. 12 to 14 TD Connect workshop in Birmingham, Ala.

• Nov. 5 to 7 — TD Connect workshop, session 1, in Kansas City, Mo.

• Nov. 7 to 9 — TD Connect workshop, session 2, in Kansas City, Mo.

• Nov. 12 — Registration closes for Nov. 27 to 29 TD Connect workshop in Rosemead, Calif.

• By Nov. 14 — Quarterly Form OE-1a due at SMART TD office.

For more info: SMART TD guide to reporting Form OE-1a


WinStabs is being freshened up

  A new version of WinStabs is coming in late December and coincides with the TD Connect eBill system’s debut.

  One major change for the new WinStabs, known as WinStabs-NMR, over previous versions involves the elimination of the billing process and member records, which go over to TD Connect. A single database will now house multiple years of data in WinStabs, and that will make it easier for S&Ts to access past reports if needed.

  Field Auditor Justin Fougerousse, a former treasurer himself, helped to develop and streamline WinStabs-NMR, which will now track savings and investment accounts to improve the accuracy of year-end and monthly reporting to membership.

  “WinStabs is more of a financial tool now,” Fougerousse said. “The old four-step billing process has been removed and there will be a single entry for the billing each month that will be entered from TD Connect data by the treasurer.”

  WinStabs software runs on Windows computers, specifically those with Microsoft Access or Access runtime (32-bit) 2010 or newer installed. Fougerousse recommends the use of Office 365, but the runtime version is available.

  Support for the program will be provided through an email link as well as the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Documentation also will be accessible via the SMART TD website.


For a backup solution, look to the cloud, not the thumb

  There’s a better way to back up your important data, especially when it comes to your Local’s records.

  Cloud computing technology has made it easier than ever to ensure that you don’t get that sinking feeling when you’ve “lost everything” because the unexpected happened and a computer or device has failed.

  While thumb drives are inexpensive and a super portable means for backing up your data, there are drawbacks. Thumb drives are small and can be easily lost or forgotten. If left in a shirt or pants pocket, a thumb drive can end up going through a cycle in the washing machine and get ruined. And while cheap and readily available, thumb drives are not the most durable products. Wear-and-tear does happen, and they can fail without warning.

  This brings us to the idea of cloud computing, which refers to multiple computers, known as servers, that are linked together and accessible via the Internet for use by others. Cloud computing has enabled big advances in how the Internet works – if you watch streaming video or listen to a music stream online, you’ve taken advantage of cloud computing.

  With all those servers out there, there is plenty of free space available online for you to upload important files that would be accessible to you anywhere. That way, if something unexpected happens to your computer or device, you’ll have peace of mind and not have to be like this guy.

  “No matter which path S&Ts take, cloud or local, backing up data is one of the most important tasks,” Field Auditor Justin Fougerousse said. “This has always been done via USB flash (thumb) drives. Now, if a treasurer would like, he or she simply can back up their data to the cloud.”

  He’s seen enough cases where a simple backup would have saved hours of work and anxiety.

  “A treasurer called me and told me that the Department of Labor is inquiring why the 2017 LM report due in March wasn’t filed,” Fougerousse said. “The treasurer said the local had a computer crash and lost all their 2017 data, then tried to rebuild it, but the bank statements would not balance.

  “This made me have to go back into 2016 and move forward. It’s time spent that shouldn’t be since a two-minute process could have saved this.”

  Some reliable cloud services include Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive (which comes free with Office 365) or Dropbox, just to name a few. The key is to be systematic and establish a habit of saving your files often, including your backups, because you never know if or when a big crash will come.


Ask an Auditor

Q: What happens to my 2018 (or older) WinStabs data in 2019?

  2018 and older WinStabs will still need to be kept as a backup because it is still a “local record.” Locals must use WinStabs version 5.09 (released in January 2018) to open 2018 and older data. Beginning in January 2019, locals will use WinStabs-NMR, version 1.0, to manage data from 2019 and on. WinStabs-NMR is a continuous database that will carry on from year to year that will be an easier way to keep a local’s records intact.

  Basically, locals should have WinStabs version 5.09 to open their 2013-2018 data backups on the computer, and the new edition, WinStabs-NMR, version 1.0, will house everything from 2019 going forward.

  To submit questions to Ask an Auditor, email fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org.

S&T Making Cents newsletter: September 2018

If you are a secretary or treasurer for a SMART Transportation Division local, you should be receiving this newsletter via email on a monthly basis from the Field Audit Support Help Desk. Please check your spam folder if it is not showing up in your inbox.

If you have changed your email address recently, please contact Dora Wolf (dwolf@smart-union.org) in the Updating Department so she has the most up-to-date contact information for union-related communications.

Making cents logo

Registration is open and TD Connect workshops are filling up!

Workshops for treasurers on the TD Connect system that will be rolled out in January are planned on the following dates in select locations (click on links to register):

  • October 8, 9 & 10, 2018 – New Haven, Conn. Workshop registration deadline is Oct. 1; hotel reservation deadline is Sept. 20.
  • November 5, 6 & 7, 2018 – Kansas City, Mo. WORKSHOP FULL – REGISTRATION CLOSED, WAITLIST AVAILABLE; hotel registration deadline is Oct. 12.
  • November 7, 8 & 9, 2018 – Kansas City, Mo. (second session)
    WORKSHOP FULL – REGISTRATION CLOSED, WAITLIST AVAILABLE; hotel reservation deadline is Oct. 12.
  • November 12, 13 & 14, 2018 – Birmingham, Ala. Workshop registration deadline is Nov. 5;
    see flier for hotel discount information.
  • November 27, 28 & 29, 2018 – Rosemead, Calif. Workshop registration deadline is Nov. 12; see flier for hotel discount information.

Workshop sessions will run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on all three days. Click here for a flier with specific workshop details.

Space in these workshops is limited and you’re encouraged to register well in advance to secure your spot. These sessions will help you in the changeover to the new TD Connect eBill system.

For additional information about these workshops or to be placed on a waitlist in case of a vacancy, call Alyssa Patchin at 216-227-5281 or email apatchin@smart-union.org.

Gearing up for fall elections

2019 is a convention year and elections must be held this fall for local committees and delegates within the union. Nominations are to be taken in October and elections conducted in November. Any local vacancies are to be addressed during this election period as well.

The President’s Office has issued rules to be followed for both the distribution of campaign literature and for the elections to be held. These have been published on the SMART TD website and also will be published in the September edition of the TD News.

Any questions should be directed to the President’s Office by calling 216-228-9400. It’s always easier to address issues in advance instead of after the fact.

Questions
about the S&T’s roles and responsibilities?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends, and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@group.
smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Important dates coming up

Important dates

By September 15 Deposit and pay CT-1 taxes (rail Locals): https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying Form CT-1 taxes

• By September 15 — Deposit and pay 941 taxes: https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 941 taxes

• By September 15 — Submit timebook order to TD Updating Department (see related article below).

• September 20 — Monthly billing due at SMART TD office.

• September 20 — Hotel registration deadline for Oct. 8-10 TD Connect workshop in New Haven, Conn.


Be ready to use the new eBill system:

  • All 2018 paper (aka green-bar) bills must be submitted to the SMART TD office prior to gaining access to eBill. We recommend working through your December 2018 bill as soon as possible. Do not wait until the December 20th deadline!
  • Local Treasurers must work to clear outstanding member variances.
  • Local Treasurers must work to develop a system between your members, local chairmen, local president and local treasurer to gather dates required to process E-49 statuses.

Meet Mike Vega, TD’s new billing audit supervisor

Mike Vega has been promoted as the SMART TD Billing Audit Department’s new supervisor, taking over in late August after the retirement of Barbara Bankston, who was with UTU/SMART TD for 37 years.

Mike has been with SMART TD since November 1989 and says he worked “all over the place” with the union before settling in as a billing auditor in 2010. Some jobs he performed included handling direct receipts, serving as the directory administrator, and as an updater on the iLink predecessor system.

An avid road cyclist, Mike’s a native Clevelander and has one key tip for S&Ts when keeping track of the finances of his or her local — be sure that the deductions and billings totals coincide.

“If things get out of sync, that’s when the local can get into trouble,” he said. “If those totals are right, everything pretty much falls into place — there are plenty of checks and balances out there to keep things running smoothly.”


Time book orders due to SMART TD office by Sept. 15

In order to alleviate significant expense and wasteful distribution of time books, all locals must complete a time book order form and return it to the SMART TD office by Sept. 15.

It’s important that the form is completed by a local officer, even if the local does not desire to receive the books (just note “0” on the quantity requested line and return). All locals will be contacted if a form is not received to ensure accurate ordering this fall. You may return the form — available on the SMART TD website — by any one of the methods listed below.

  • Fax to: 216-227-5208 – ATTN: Dora Wolf
  • Email to: dwolf@smart-union.org
  • Via mail to:
    SMART TD
    ATTN: DORA WOLF
    24950 Country Club Blvd, Ste. 340
    North Olmsted, OH 44070 – 5333

A confirmation email will be sent to acknowledge receipt of your order – if you do not receive the email within 10 days of your order being submitted, please contact Dora Wolf by calling the SMART TD office at 216-228-9400.


Ask an Auditor

Q: The convention is coming up next year, and our Local still has an old seal with the UTU logo on it. Since we’re SMART TD now, do we have to get a new one for our Local?

The use of a local seal will be very important next year when credentialing delegates for the SMART TD Convention to take place next August in Las Vegas, Nevada. Locals are not required to replace their old UTU seals. However, if your Local does not have a seal, permission must first be obtained from the President’s Department to get one. Once permission is received, a seal can be ordered from the SMART TD Supply Department. For more information, contact John Horvath in the President’s Department at 216-228-9400.

To submit questions to Ask an Auditor, email fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org.

S&T Making Cents newsletter: August 2018

Making cents logo

Time to connect!

We’re closer to the rollout of the new TD Connect eBill system. Will you be ready?

The TD Connect eBill system is going to save treasurers valuable time and energy when it rolls out this coming January. With this paperless eBill system, the entire processing and submitting of the monthly bill is completed online in TD Connect.

A fall workshop schedule has been set up for S&Ts to learn how to use the new TD Connect system. Dates are:

  • Oct. 8, 9 & 10 – New Haven, CT
  • Nov. 5, 6 & 7 – Kansas City, MO
  • Nov. 12, 13 & 14 – Birmingham, AL
  • November 27, 28 & 29 – Rosemead, CA

Sessions will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days and details about the locations will be provided soon. Attendance is limited to 30 registrants and will be accepted on a first-come basis. The three-day sessions will include all training and materials at no cost to the local. However, the local is responsible for all other costs associated with the treasurer’s attendance at the workshop. Lost time or salary, travel, hotel and meal expenses connected with attendance may be reimbursed if pre-approved by the membership at the local meeting as an allowable expense of the local. Help us plan accordingly and complete a workshop interest form so you can be among the first notified with location-specific details.

Handling E-49 in TD Connect

This new system has built-in logic that will help treasurers apply dues in compliance with Article 21B of the SMART Constitution.

For E-49 (dues exempt) status, the new TD Connect eBill system automatically flags members who did not provide dues payments when dues were received the month prior. The eBill system then requires a date that the member last worked to be entered in order to proceed.

Conversely, if a dues payment is received from a member who had been designated the month before as having an E-49 status, then that member will be flagged as an active member and a return-to-service date will be required in order to proceed.

The TD Connect system will calculate dues owed by the member once those required dates are entered.

The SMART Constitution requires (Article 21B, Section 49) that the Local Treasurer, President and Chairman monitor closely which members have E-49 status. Fulfilling this requirement and keeping track of these dates will make everyone’s job a bit easier. Members who are in E-49 status are required by the Constitution to complete, sign and turn in the E-49 form to the Local S&T, Local Treasurer or Local Chairperson.

A quick quiz for E-49:
Q: A member goes into active military service on July 20, 2018. When would that member qualify for exempt status?

A: September 2018.

Q: That same member then returns to the job on November 29, 2018. When would the member be required to pay dues again?

A: December 2018.

Questions
about the S&T’s roles and responsibilities?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@group.
smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Important dates coming up

Important dates

• By August 20 — SMART TD billings due at office

By September 15 Deposit and pay CT-1 taxes (rail Locals): https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying Form CT-1 taxes

• By September 15 — Deposit and pay 941 taxes: https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 941 taxes


Be ready to use the new eBill system:

  • All 2018 paper (aka green-bar) bills must be submitted to TD prior to gaining access to eBill. We recommend working through your December 2018 bill as soon as possible. Do not wait until the December 20th deadline!
  • Local Treasurers must work to clear outstanding member variances.
  • Local Treasurers must work to develop a system between your members, local chairmen, local president and local treasurer to gather dates required to process E-49 statuses.

Locals must notify TD with dues rates

For proper record keeping and member maintenance, your local dues rates must match the SMART Transportation Division record in iLink. The structure consists of:

  • International (TD) dues
  • State legislative dues
  • General committee (GCA) dues
  • Local dues
  • Local committee of adjustment (LCA) dues

If the dues rates in WinStabs and iLink do not match, it will cause issues with your monthly billing.

Your dues structure can be checked through iLink by going to MEMBERSHIP > REPORTS > DUES SUMMARY REPORT.
If the dues levels for the international, state or GCA are not the same as what is reflected in iLink, then WinStabs would need to be updated, and you should contact the Field Audit Help Desk at fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org for assistance.

If the local or LCA dues levels are not the same as those shown in iLink, then the TD offices need to be receive an update. Please notify the Updating Department by calling 216-228-9400 or emailing Dora Wolf at dwolf@smart-union.org to get the discrepancy resolved.

If you have questions regarding the proper process for changing your dues rate or implementing assessments, contact the TD President’s Department at 216-228-9400.


Ask an Auditor

Q: We have a future meeting that falls on a holiday. The TD Constitution mentions that a quorum is required to switch the meeting time. How do we go about doing this?

In Article 21B, Section 55 of the SMART Constitution, it says that a quorum consisting of five (5) members in good standing is required for a transaction of business. If you have a regular or special meeting and a quorum of members is present, then a majority of the quorum would be required to carry a motion that approves the meeting schedule change on a one-time basis. This can be done informally through a show of hands.

Provided the motion to change the meeting date carries, “reasonable” notice should then be posted at all locations where affected members report for duty. “Reasonable,” according to the SMART Constitution, is at least five (5) days, but additional notice is always a good idea for people to rearrange their schedules, especially around a holiday. Posting the notice immediately after the meeting in which the change has been made wouldn’t be a bad thing to do.

If a local’s scheduled meeting does get changed, please notify the TD President’s Department of the new schedule. A new member or one who is returning to service could call the TD office asking about his or her local’s meeting schedule, and we would then be able to pass the information along.

To submit questions to Ask an Auditor, email fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org.

S&T Making Cents newsletter: June 2018

Making cents logo

Time to connect!

TD Connect and the eBill system are coming your way.  Will you be ready?

The TD Connect eBill system is going to save treasurers valuable time and energy when it rolls out in January 2019. With this paperless eBill system the entire processing and submitting of the monthly bill is completed online in TD Connect.

There are a few important things that Locals must do in order to be ready to use the new eBill system:

  • All 2018 paper (aka green-bar) bills must be submitted to TD prior to gaining access to eBill. We recommend working through your December 2018 bill as soon as possible. Do not wait until the December 20th deadline!
  • Local Treasurers must work to clear outstanding member variances. A member has a variance on their record if either they owe the Local money or if the Local owes the member money. This is usually the result of incorrect payroll deductions.

To view the Member Variance Report for your local in WinStabs, go to Member Records > Member Report Menu > Member Variance (or Member Due/Refund in versions prior to 5.09)

The Member Variance Report is a running total of Member Credits (money the Local owes to its members) and Member Deficits (money members owe to the Local).

While there will always be some amount of member variance due to E-49 statuses, every attempt should be made to zero out these amounts every month for your active members.

Local Treasurers will have the option to upload member variances at the onset of eBill, but to do so the following criteria must be met:

  • Local Treasurers must request a variance upload no later than March 30, 2019 from their Membership Representative (to-be-assigned).
  • Variance amounts must be provided through a WinStabs data transfer. (Exceptions for those not on WinStabs will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
  • Variance amounts cannot be older than 1 year. (Exceptions to this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
  • Local Treasurers must be able to explain the variance amounts.
  • Local Treasurers must verify that the affected members are aware of their variances and that a plan is in place to eliminate the variance.
  • Any variance that is not added to the eBill system will be considered forgiven or voided. Variances that begin accruing with the January 2019 bill will be tracked in the eBill system.

Questions
about the S&T’s roles and responsibilities?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@group.
smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Important dates

By June 15 Deposit and pay CT-1 taxes (rail Locals): https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying Form CT-1 taxes

• By June 15 — Deposit and pay 941 taxes: https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 941 taxes

• By June 20 — SMART TD billings due at office

• July 2-4 — SMART TD Regional Meeting in Seattle, Wash.


WORKSHOPS PLANNED IN SEATTLE

Westin Seattle hosts SMART TD's July 2018 Regional Meeting

We’re mere weeks away from the first of two SMART Transportation Division regional meetings. Both the July meeting in Seattle, Wash., and the August meeting in Hollywood, Fla., will present great educational opportunities to help strengthen our union and build camaraderie among our members.

The first meeting, July 2 through 4, is at the Westin in Seattle, and informative workshops for secretaries and treasurers have been planned.

July 2

  • 9 to 10:30 a.m.: A preview of the new SMART TD eBill system will be presented by Administrator Matt Dolin and Field Audit Support Coordinator Katy Andrijowych.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Training the Local: Protecting You, Your Union and Your Local.
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: A workshop on local disbursements and approval will be presented by Field Auditors John Purcell, Justin Fougerousse and Mike Araujo.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: An informational session about Railroad Retirement geared toward local treasurers will be presented by Laretta Earls-Rozelle and Melodi Sapyta.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: One-on-one assistance available on billing and member variance is available from TD field auditors.

July 3

  • 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Training the Local: The roles of officers and business of unions.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Field Auditors John Purcell, Justin Fougerousse and Mike Araujo will present on local payroll taxes and reporting.
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Purcell, Fougerousse and Araujo will hold a workshop on payroll deductions and member variances.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: Department of Labor presentation about running local elections.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: One-on-one assistance available on billing and member variance is available from TD field auditors.

July 4

  • 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Training the Local — a workshop that features a mock local meeting.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Field Auditors John Purcell, Justin Fougerousse and Mike Araujo will have a presentation about WinStabs, reconciliation and reporting.

Details about and a schedule of S&T workshops at the Hollywood meeting will be in the July edition of Making Cents. We look forward to seeing you at the workshops!


ASK AN AUDITOR

I have been having some trouble with a member transfer for almost three months. I have sent three transfer requests with no response from the other Local’s S&T. This is a member request and he has contacted me several times with his concerns why this transfer has not been handled. Can you help?

The processing of member transfers among Locals falls under the duties of the S&T but can be complicated since both S&Ts need to work together. People lead busy lives, and sometimes it’s difficult to coordinate one another’s schedules to communicate.

There are two types of transfers as described in Article 21B, Section 47 of the SMART Constitution: A 90-day transfer because of an assignment to a different craft and a member-requested transfer.

The SMART TD Guide for Maintaining Member Records and Billings, available on the S&T Tools section of the SMART Transportation Division website, goes into more detail about the procedure:

A written request must be submitted to the old Local from the member/new Local. Treasurers from both Locals should open the lines of communication to work through the request. If the transfer request is proper, the Treasurer from the old Local is to issue a T-47 transfer certificate to the new Local. (Reference pages 174-175 and 202 of the WinStabs manual for guidance on transfer requests and certificates from WinStabs.) The old Local must respond to the request in some fashion. Do not ignore transfer requests.


If the transfer request is improper, the old Local must supply the new Local with a reason for the denial. Again, communication between the Locals is key to ensure that both Locals receive the dues, assessments and premiums they are eligible for from the member. Understanding of the application of payroll deductions is essential.

Members who go to BLE are not transferred, instead their membership is suspended.

A reasonable time period to either put such a transfer through or to deny a transfer is seven days. Transfer requests should be responded to and must not be ignored.

If a transfer request is denied, the old Local must provide the new Local with a reason why it was denied. Payroll deductions shouldn’t be started by the new Local until a T-47 certificate has been received, and dues should still be collected by the old Local until the transfer request is complete.

The scenario you are describing appears to be excessive, but we have to ask whether you’ve only tried to contact the other S&T through email. Email is convenient, but it’s easy for something to be either deleted or just fall by the wayside as newer emails pop into an S&T’s inbox. Our suggestion is to try another old-fashioned way of getting in touch – pick up the phone and call the other S&T. We’re all part of the same union and working for our members – you’ll get an answer quicker, and a simple call could establish a relationship that helps bring your two Locals closer together.

To submit questions to Ask an Auditor, email fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org.