ASLEF Circular

15 August 2005



To: All Branches and Representatives.



Fellow Members,




There have been various rumours circulating during the General Secretary election process about the alleged sorry state of affairs of the ASLEF accounts, which it is now my pleasure to dispel. These scurrilous and unfounded allegations may have weakened our ASLEF, and left ASLEF vulnerable in the face of employers and to predators within the Trade Union movement.


Due to the serious nature of these allegations, and certain people trying to play politics with our ASLEF security, I called a special interim audit of all ASLEF accounts, by ASLEF approved (AAD sanctioned) Independent Auditors, Hard Dowdy.


There are two very important sides to ASLEF structure in relation to Finance. One is the nationally elected Trustees, of whom there are three members, supported by a team of professional advisors, who look after the assets and investments of ASLEF. During the last couple of years, through the internal democracies of ASLEF, rule changes were made to strengthen their powers.


The second most important part is the requirement under law of the Executive Committee responsibilities. These requirements on the Executive Committee give them stringent control on the whole of the finances of ASLEF. A third element is the requirement for a debate and approval of the ASLEF accounts, by the AAD Delegates. This is then circulated to all Branches and Representatives. This took place at this year’s AAD and was unanimously approved and circulated to all Branches.


Attached to this circular is the full report by ASLEF Independant Auditors of the state of the accounts upto 31st August 2003. This has been placed before your Executive Committee on the 6th October 2003 and under Executive Committee resolution 668/422, the following was adopted:-



"That the finance report be adopted with appreciation. Further the General Secretary be congratulated on his administration of the ASLEF Accounts. Further, we note the continual success of our fiscal policy as approved over the last five years, that has turned around a major deficit, into the situation where for the last four years we have recorded a surplus in the various ASLEF Accounts.


To ensure the continued success of our Fiscal policy, of good budgeting, value for money and safe and secure investments, all EC Resolutions relating to financial matters in the last four years are re-affirmed. Also, due to the misleading attacks by certain misinformed individuals on the state of the union’s finances, without foundation, the EC re-affirms that any restructuring of the organisation, capital expenditure over £500, any situation with staffing matters, on employment, permanent or temporary, consultants, special advisors, agencies, workers or former and retired employees be they paid or not, or any existing service, supplier or servicer, or potential new service or servicer or supplier, must in the first instance be discussed and approved by the Executive Committee, before any action is taken.


Further, the continued involvement of ASLEF Trustees in policy opinion be maintained on all financial aspects, with quarterly reports being maintained by the General Secretary to this EC on all matters concerning finance.


All Branches and All Representatives be circulated, all Union notice cases also to display.


Absent: D Tyson

For: Samways, Moran, Wilkinson, McGilvray, Donnelly, Usher.

Against: S Brady.”





1. Legal costs and expenditure down.

2. Salaries, Officers expenses, Executive Committee costs and staffing costs reduced to 45% of total budget (in 1998 – 53% of budget).

3. More costs now spent on servicing, organising membership.

4. Increase in monies for lettings, rents on other subsidies to ASLEF accounts.

5. Protection increased on all ASLEF investment, via a switch from equities and non-ethical investments.

6. Running cost of Arkwright Road down.

7. Conferences and delegations costs down.

8. All financial procedures, transparent and democratic, with all information being before the Trustees, Auditors and the Executive Committee, before any spending is authorised.

9. All debts from Railway inquiries now nearly paid.

10. Protection of property and enhancement in place ensuring further security of assets.

11. No subscriptions increase for members for the last 18 months.

12. No subscription increase until 31st March 2004. The new rule to apply based on 1% of members headline salaries (2 year freeze).

13. New print services and supplies contract now in place, saving members thousands of pounds.

14. Introduction of IT equipment and new office equipment saving the union thousands of pounds

15. Approved budgets by the Executive Committee, all under budget and all on time.






Your Executive Committee have received the Special Audited Report and via EC Resolution 668/422 displayed earlier in this document are pleased to be able to dispel any unfounded and misrepresented viewpoints on ASLEF finances.


ASLEF is nearly £500,000K in surplus, and has a stringent financial policy, along with expert advisors. This bodes well, however, to ensure ASLEF remains an independent union, and has agreed in accordance with Rule 4.9(a) and (b) from the 31st March 2004, members subscriptions will now increase to 1% of their members headline salary. (This was adopted at the 2002 AAD on a resolution from Cambridge Branch).


This will increase subscriptions dramatically for members, but will still be value for money for all the benefits and services.


The Executive Committee resolution reaffirms all previous EC resolutions in relation to policy on finance, our legal requirements and policy handed down from the AAD.


On a personal level, it remains to be said, that despite the personal remarks, innuendoes and misleading remarks that have been made by some individuals who do not have the professional qualifications or the expertise to understand financial matters. Our ASLEF is free from all comparisons with previous administrations and that I am proud that our ASLEF is in good shape. Let it be said, constructive criticism is one thing, however it does seem apparent, we do have some sleepers in our organisation who are hell bent on destroying ASLEF from within.


Perhaps they have more in common with the private management companies than what they are letting on.


Rest assured some great work has taken place over the last few years, and it is pleasing, that myself, your Executive Committee, our Trustees have been given a clean bill of health. And more importantly by EC Resolution 668/422 have ensured that ASLEF finances will continue to flourish.


Attached are the audited accounts with explanations, which will also be placed before the 2004 AAD for explanation by the independent auditors.


Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members.


Yours fraternally



General Secretary




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