As we near the time of our next National Convention, I am proud to report to you the financial and operational results for the first six months of 2007. When we meet in October in Toronto for our 23 rd Biennial Convention, I will have a more up to date report of 2007 along with a full report of the last two years. However, what I report now is quite similar to my reports over the last two years and similar to what I anticipate in October. That is, CUPE’s finances remain strong and stable. Each of our three funds are performing as they should and the changes we have made at the National Executive Board to the structure of CUPE’s finances are paying off, enabling . us to discuss the kind of new initiatives CUPE members need as we approach the challenges of the coming years.
CUPE’s General Fund continues to be strong, having grown from an operating budget of $.121 million in 2005 to $132 million today. This reflects both our growth in membership and wage gains won at CUPE bargaining tables. For the first six months in 2007, we are recording a $2.7 million surplus. This six-month result is largely due to savings in operating expenditures that are not related to direct services. By this I mean, operating cost savings such as equipment leases and rentals and savings from office expenses. As well we experience savings from the fact that we budgeted for a federal election in 2007, which has not yet taken place. The details of expenditure savings are outlined in the General Fund section below.
It is important to note that the savings that we are making are having a long-term effect on our future operations. I have reported before that we have made substantial savings from innovations such as flight passes and our new approach to technology. This year, I am happy to report that an analysis of our policy of purchasing rather than leasing office space has saved us some $2 million over the last couple of years. This is quite significant because this savings really represents $2 million that we have been able to put into front line services rather than to the costs of bricks and mortar.