Financial Guide

(Effective June 1, 2019)


Governing Authority

Subject to the provisions of BCFMWU Constitution and Bylaws, the Provincial Executive when the Union is not meeting in Convention, is the governing body of the Union, and as such is responsible for determining the financial policies for the Union. No other body can assume this authority, regardless of usage of funds except as prescribed in the BCFMWU Constitution.

Financial Guide Prevails

Except as provided by the BCFMWU Constitution, in the case of any disagreement between the Financial Guide and any other financial policy of the Union, this Financial Guide shall prevail.

Extraordinary Expenses

Expenses not provided for in this guide or other policy of the Union must, where possible, receive prior authorization from the Provincial Secretary-Treasurer before being incurred. Claims for reimbursement must be receipted and accompanied by a full explanation of why the expense was necessary. Reimbursement for such expenses is subject to the approval of the Union’s Finance Committee or the Provincial Executive.

Expenses incurred while on authorized Union business, other than those provided for in the Financial Guide, must be referred to the Provincial Secretary-Treasurer for authorization. In the event that such authorization is withheld, the claim may be referred to the Provincial Executive for decision.

ARTICLE 1 – Secretary-Treasurer

The Secretary-Treasurer shall cause to be paid authorized expense claims in accordance with the following guidelines: expense claims, except as noted below, should be submitted monthly to the Union’s Main office. All current claims will be processed by the office within two weeks of receiving the claim. Expense accounts may be processed and paid on a weekly basis at the discretion of the Secretary-Treasurer.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall cause to be deleted from the expense claims any amounts in excess of those allowed in this guide and is not to allow payment of claims other than those specifically allowed in this Guide. 

All expense claims must be accompanied with all pertinent information and receipts (i.e. purpose of meetings, location, telephone numbers, addresses, names, etc.)

ARTICLE 2 – Mileage Expenses

Union members and/or Staff using their own vehicle on approved Union business shall be paid a flat rate of 55 cents (0.55¢) per kilometer that is subject to change with fuel rates, and passed by Provincial Executive.

2.01(a) All Staff shall have one location specified as their point of assembly. Staff shall normally commence and terminate their day of work at this point of assembly or from home.

Taxi, airporter, car share and parking fees shall be paid only upon presentation of receipts attached to expense claims when on Union business. All flights have to be arranged and paid for by the Union office, with approval by the Provincial President, Secretary Treasurer or Office Manager. 

Union members and Staff required to travel on Union business will use economy services where available or practical as approved by a signing authority.

Traffic fines and/or towing away charges shall not be paid by the Union.

Where a member uses public transit, the Union will reimburse appropriate transit costs, without receiving a receipt.  The expense will be documented on an expense claim with the names of the stop where an employee got on and the stop where an employee departed.

ARTICLE 3 – Vehicle Expenses

A list of vehicle rentals agents authourized by the Finance Committee will be administered by the Union Office.  :Labour Relations Officers,  the Provincial President and SOC President vehicle expenses shall be paid as per their contracts.

The tax payable on the taxable benefit incurred for ferry travel shall be paid for upon presentation of receipts attached to expense claims when on union business. It is agreed that for purposes of this reimbursement, the “personal tax rate” shall be 30%.

ARTICLE 4 – Accommodation

No payment will be made for overnight accommodation when the Union business the member or staff person is engaged in is conducted within fifty kilometers (50 km) of his/her place of residence, unless prior authorization has been received. When overnight accommodation is required, arrangements shall be made through the Union office. The Union will only be responsible for the room and tax charges along with parking fees. Should a member or staff person arrange their own overnight accommodations, they will be responsible for all costs and may claim fifteen dollars ($15.00) on their expense claim. Any miscellaneous charges to the room (valet, room service, etc.) are the responsibility of the member.

A list of hotels/motels authorized by the Finance Committee will be administered by the Union Office.

Meeting rooms must be authorized and booked through the Union Office.

ARTICLE 5 – Meal Allowance

Meal allowance to a maximum total of sixty five dollars ($65.00) per day shall be paid to Union members and staff while on Union business in the rate of:

Breakfast $15.00
Lunch $20.00
Dinner $30.00

If a catered meal is provided by the Union, the above shall not apply. Any in-town meal allowance must be fully explained on the expense claim.

When a member or staff person is required to be away from home on Union business, he/she shall be entitled to fifteen dollars ($15.00) for every night absent.

When a member is on Union business, he/she may elect to receive a per diem of seventy five ($75) per day that will be paid in lieu of hotel, meal charges, overnight, and telephone charges.

ARTICLE 6 – Financial Remittance to Locals

6.01 Local Funding

6.01(a) The Union shall contribute to the financial assistance of each Local. Annual assessments of fifteen dollars ($15) per Local member will be paid to each Local. If the Local has less than one hundred (100) members then an amount of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) will be paid to the Local.

6.01(b) Locals with a bank balance over twelve thousand dollars ($12,000.00) on May 31 will not be entitled to receive that Local’s per capita. Any money not given to a Local will stay in the per capita fund pool and be shared among other Locals.

6.01(c) Locals that have met their yearly obligations in Article 16(3) of the Constitution shall be provided five hundred dollars ($500) to offset costs associated with these events.

6.02 Communication Allowance
Fifty dollars ($50.00) per month will be issued to all of the Locals, paid on a yearly basis to each Local President, to cover communication costs. Any other communication costs shall be covered by Local funds.

6.03 Payment of Remittance
Local funding remittance shall be paid by the Union Office to each local upon receipt and verification of local meeting minutes, expense summary and a copy of the May 31 bank statement.  Locals must also provide written confirmation of BCFMWU Constitution Article 20 Section 4c to receive the additional funding remittance.

ARTICLE 7– Devices for Locals

7.01Local Presidents shall be issued a Union cell phone at the start of each term. Costs to maintain the plan shall be paid by the Provincial Office. Cell phones shall be provisioned in accordance with the Cell phone policy.-Append

7.02Local Presidents shall be issued a Union laptop/tablet. Laptops and Tablets shall be provisioned in accordance with the Laptop/Tablet policy. –Append

A list of devices authorized by the Finance Committee will be administered by the Union Office.

ARTICLE 8 – Child Care Expenses

Reasonable child care expenses will be paid when attending Union-sanctioned conventions or bargaining conferences and other Union events, as a Union representative, outside of schedules working hours when pre-authorized by the Executive.

Where services are provided and paid for by the Union, child care expenses may not be claimed.

Child care expenses will only be provided for children up to and including twelve (12) years of age, with the exception of special needs or dependants.

Child care can only be claimed for Union business outside of scheduled work hours at the rate of ten dollars ($10.00) per hour/per child, to a maximum of seventy five dollars ($75.00) per day/per child. Special cases are to be pre-approved by the Provincial President or Secretary-Treasurer. Child care receipts must be attached to the claim and from a third party only, receipts submitted from a spouse or guardian will not be reimbursed.

ARTICLE 9 – Union Members’ Wage Loss While on Union Business

Union members will be reimbursed lost wages at their regular rate of pay in accordance with the Union’s Collective Agreement when required to take time off from employment to carry out Union business.

As per the current Collective Agreement, when an employee on a leave of absence would have normally substituted on the day of the Union leave, the applicable substitution costs shall be billed to the Union.

All book-off for approved Union business must be made through the Union office and authorized by the two signing authorities. No individual shall approve his/her own book-off.

ARTICLE 10 – Advances and Personal Loans

The Secretary-Treasurer is authorized to issue advances on expense accounts to Executive members, Union officers, including delegates engaged on official Union business, at his or her discretion.

Loans to members may only be approved when the loan is co-signed by an Executive member and the member requesting the loan signs a repayment of loan document.

ARTICLE 11 – Conference and Conventions
For Conferences and Conventions refer to Conference and Convention Financial Guide

ARTICLE 12 – Bonds

The President, Agents, and staff may purchase savings bonds through payroll deduction. The bonds may not be released until fully paid, or at the discretion of the Secretary-Treasurer.

ARTICLE 13 – Per Capita Payments

The Secretary-Treasurer is authorized to make per capita payments to the following, on behalf of the Union:

    1. The BCGEU
    2. The Vancouver & District Labour Council
    3. The Nanaimo, Duncan & District Labour Council
    4. The Victoria Labour Council
    5. Any other labour council to which the Union is affiliated
    6. The ITF

Per Capita payments to the BCGEU include payments to the Canadian Labour Congress, NUPGE, BC Federation of Labour and the BC Government and Employees’ Union.

ARTICLE 14 – Petty Cash

Petty Cash shall be established in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300). Custody of this account shall be with the Senior Office Employee or Office Manager. Expenditures of petty cash shall be recorded by the bookkeeper in the accounts and receipts obtained for all expenditures.

ARTICLE 15– Bookkeeper

The Executive shall engage a bookkeeper to carry out all bookkeeping duties. The Secretary-Treasurer shall ensure that the bookkeeper maintains the required books showing all monies paid out for the operation of the Union.

ARTICLE 16 – Changes in the Union’s Financial Administration Policies

From time to time, changes in the Union’s Financial Administration Policies may be seen to be necessary. In this event, the Finance Committee will make appropriate recommendations to the Secretary-Treasurer who will, in turn, report to the Executive.

ARTICLE 17 – Legal Services Procedures

The Union will not pay for any legal bills that have not been authorized by the appropriate signing authority.

Staff members are not permitted to seek legal advice without prior authorization from the President.

Legal Documents:

17.03(a) The legal signing officer of the Union is the President.

17.03(b) All Collective Agreements, memoranda of agreement, memoranda of understanding, letters of intent, must be signed by the President. This would not include those memoranda signed at the bargaining table which recommend acceptance of a tentative agreement to the principles.

17.03(c) Submissions and applications to the Labour Relations Board, government agencies, the employer, other organizations regarding arbitration, legislation, Union policy, etc. should be dealt with as follows:

    1. Upper right hand corner on same line as date, type:
      “Please reply attention of:                             “  (insert staff person responsible)
    1. Signature, as follows:
      Yours truly
      Provincial President, BC Ferry Marine Workers’ Union
      Per:                                                                            . Labour Relations Officer
    1. All submissions must be signed by a Labour Relations Officer.

ARTICLE 18 Committees

The Provincial Executive Officers, in conjunction with the Executive, are responsible for ensuring the formation of Standing Committees of the Union. In selecting members for committees, experience, geographical location, gender and cost efficiencies are to be considered.

18.01(a) Standing Committees should:

    1. Create a mission statement which outlines what the committee is trying to achieve and is to be reviewed annually.
    2. Develop and submit an annual budget to the Secretary-Treasurer and the Executive for approval.
    3. Present a report which develops goals with projected timelines for the information of the Provincial President and Executive.
    4. Create a minimum of semi-annual progress reports for the Provincial President and Executive, which include an estimated time allotment for the committee members.
    5. Create a term report for the tri-annual convention.

The Provincial President, on behalf of the Executive or the Table Officers, may form ad hoc committees of the Union. Ad hoc committees are project specific and will be stood down upon completion of the project.

18.02(a) Ad hoc committees must be created for a specific project. Committees are to be efficient and cost effective.

18.02 (b) The creation of ad hoc committees shall follow this procedure:

    1. The Provincial President, on behalf of the Executive or the Table Officers, will give the Executive reasonable notice that an ad hoc committee for a specific purpose is going to be formed at an appointed date. The notice will advise the Executive of the date, time and place that nominations will close.
    2. The Table Officers will consider the nominations and make recommendations to the Provincial President for appointment.
    3. The Provincial President will appoint ad hoc committees.

ARTICLE19 – Office Policies

All overtime must be approved by the Office Manager, Secretary-Treasurer or the Provincial President prior to being worked.

Requests for office supplies must be submitted to the Office Manager for approval.

All work coming into the office is to be directed to the Office Manager, Secretary-Treasurer or Provincial President for authorization.

All purchases of goods and services must be approved by a designated signing authority.

All meetings at the Union Office shall be coordinated through the Office Manager.


To view as a pdf: Financial Guide