DOL Audit of Columbia College of Chicago PT Faculty Union Finances Exposes Multiple Violations
by Megan Bennett
P-fac, Columbia’s part-time faculty union, has undertaken measures to restructure its expense reporting following a recent audit by the U.S. Department of Labor that found nearly 20 violations of recordkeeping, reporting and other financial requirements between 2013-2014, according to union President Diana Vallera.
In a May 26 audit letter from the DOL’s Office of Labor Management Standards, an unidentified field investigator outlined problems such as failure to retain adequate documentation for debit card transactions and for $44,000 in salary payments to officers and members conducting union business. Also noted were payments made for meals, mileage, phone and internet without itemized receipts to support them, a lack of written authorization for child care and dog walking expenses and a receipt for a cab ride that, according to the investigator, had been hand-altered.
Recordkeeping and reporting statutes for unions are outlined in the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, a law that clarifies how unions should document expenses, according to Michael Purcell, director of the Chicago District Office of the Office of Labor-Management Standards.
“The unions have to keep records to support all their income and disbursements,” Purcell said. “The organizations are also required to file on an annual
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