Filed under: Current Issues in Credit Unions | Tags: CFPB, concentration risk, CUSOs, interest rate risk, mobile payment systems
–Mobile payment systems.
–Interest rate and concentration risk.
–Handling member complaints.
–Big K Roundup.
Sound editing by Victor Khaze
The CIiCU hosts are:
Farleigh Wada Witt,
Attorneys at Law
121 SW Morrison Street, Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97204
Telephone: 503-228-6044 Fax: 503-228-1741
Messick & Weber P.C.
211 North Olive Street
Media, PA 19063
Telephone 610-891-9000 Fax 610-891-9008
American Airlines Credit Union
P.O. Box 619001
DFW Airport, TX
AFCU Director of Regulatory Compliance
NAFCU – National Association of Federal Credit Unions
3138 10th Street North
Arlington, VA 22201-2149
Telephone: 703-522-4770 Toll-Free: 800-336-4644 Fax: 703-524-1082
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A.
323 W. Lakeside Avenue, Suite 200
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Telephone: 216-739-5004 Fax: 216-739-5642
Subcribe to the show via iTunes Music Store:http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=151785964&s=143441
Filed under: brainstorming, credit unions, products, Uncategorized | Tags: credit unions, Poke the Box, Seth Godin
On the cover of Seth Godin’s latest book “Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something For the First Time?” is a drawing of a man who looks remarkably like the person featured in traditional credit union ads holding an umbrella or otherwise representing the common man. The parallels with issues facing the movement don’t stop at the cover of this wonderful little book. Godin, an author, public speaker and all around entrepreneur is always worth reading. In his new book, Godin’s message is choose yourself. That is, if you have an idea, if you have a dream, pursue it yourself don’t wait for someone to pick you or hire you to do something else. As he says in the book “Go. Do that.” It is interesting to me because he spends half the book telling you to jump in and then he peppers this position by telling you how to apply a filter to some of your ideas so that you don’t do something particularly stupid. That being said, he also warns not to be afraid of failure, which is always good advice. Godin himself has failed at a number of different projects; however, one of his successful ventures netted him 30 million dollars back in 1998. Godin is a restless producer of thought and ideas and an extraordinarily successful person in his own right.
But this is not a book review. My goal in this blog post is to identify why you should, dear credit union reader, spend some time with Mr. Godin and read his new book. It has been my experience, and I know this might be an incredible shock to you, but something I hear in the Credit Union Movement frequently is “We’ve always done it that way.” I would submit to you that credit unions who continue to pursue that philosophy will not exist by 2016. In fact, some people believe that half the credit unions today will not exist by 2016. To me that would be an epic tragedy. As Godin says “The world is changing too fast. Without the spark of initiative, you have no choice but to simply react to the world. Without the ability to instigate and experiment, you are stuck, adrift, waiting to be shoved.” Today, being shoved means being shoved out of the movement.
Godin also identifies what is needed to make something happen. “An idea, people to work on it, a place to build or organize it, raw materials, distribution, money, marketing.” Credit unions have all of these things in spades. Ideas are floating around more plentifully than ever online, in think tanks and among your peers and employees. Credit unions have employees that can work on these ideas, buildings, money, members to distribute ideas too marketing people and of course the raw materials of computers and papers and the other implements of financial services. Godin mixes the ideas of success and failure along with persistence as being essential to continued existence. This identifies what is happening in the Credit Union Movement right now so perfectly that it hurts. Really, credit unions have nothing to lose by way of failure at this point because if a credit union does nothing, it will probably fail anyway. If a credit union puts three boats in the water and only one of them comes in, it will probably succeed.
Godin even puts this into a formula: “When the cost of poking the box (PTB) is less than the cost of doing nothing (0), then you should poke! [PTB-0=poke]” Again, the cost of doing nothing at this point is merger or liquidation. At the same time he says “If you run a giant, billion dollar steel mill, I don’t think you should shut it down for a month to try new, untested technology.” It is a balancing act but the message is to go forward.
The best thing, perhaps, about Godin’s new book is that it is very short. Plus at $8.00 it is pretty cheap. If you work at a credit union, read Poke the Box and share it with your coworkers.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: collective bargaining law, collective bargaining rights, Senate Bill 5
by Sara M. Donnersbach, Esq.
Have you read the newly enacted Ohio Senate Bill 5, now known as the Collective Bargaining Law? Not many people actually have, due to the fact it’s several hundred pages long. Unfortunately, that leaves most people relying on the newspapers, reporters and politically motivated congress persons to identify what the bill actually provides. It’s time to rely on the facts – good or bad – and just the facts. Realizing that most people do not know it exists, the Legislative Service Commission provides a summary of the bill, which was signed into law, for free and that summary is available online. This article highlights segments of that summary.
The Collective Bargaining Law (CBL) contains many changes to the Public Employee Collective Bargaining rights. It abolishes the rights of state employees to collectively bargain. Ohio law defines collective bargaining:
“To bargain collectively” means to perform the mutual obligation of the public employer, by its representatives, and the representatives of its employees to negotiate in good faith at reasonable times and places with respect to wages, hours, terms, and other conditions of employment and the continuation, modification, or deletion of an existing provision of a collective bargaining agreement, with the intention of reaching an agreement, or to resolve questions arising under the agreement. “To bargain collectively” includes executing a written contract incorporating the terms of any agreement reached. The obligation to bargain collectively does not mean that either party is compelled to agree to a proposal nor does it require the making of a concession.
The CBL prohibits the State from collectively bargaining with its employees regardless of any continuation, modification or deletion of an existing agreement. Agencies, authorities, commissions, boards of the State, and a State institution of higher education are prohibited along with the state. In conjunction with the above, the Office of Collective Bargaining is, understandably, now abolished.
This prohibition, however, does not apply to persons working pursuant to a contract between a public employer and private employer, and over whom the National Labor Relations Board has declined jurisdiction from those persons eligible for collective bargaining. It also excludes employees of a regional council of government. The CBL authorizes public employees to refuse any representation by an exclusive representative or an employee organization.
State employees cannot collectively bargain for employer paid contributions to any of the five public employee retirement systems, or for health care benefits for which the employer is required to pay more than 80% of the cost. However, the public employers are not required to bargain on any subject reserved to the management and direction of the governmental unit, even if the subject affects wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. In fact, the CBL limits public employer contributions toward health insurance premiums to 80%. In the interest of continuity, the CBL makes laws pertaining to the provision of health care benefits to public employees, prevail over conflicting collective bargaining agreements (CBA)s.
For those public employers faced with a fiscal emergency, the CBL prohibits any CBA, which would interfere with the employer’s need for flexibility to adjust to payroll and staffing levels to ensure core services. The CBL allows a public employer to set aside any provision in an existing CBA in these circumstances.
Such public employers cannot agree to a provision that would require them to use employee length of service as the only factor in making layoffs, when a reduction in force is necessary. The CBL removes consideration of seniority and of length of service, by themselves, from decisions regarding a reduction in work force of certain public employees. Other factors must be considered in conjunction with seniority and length of service.
The CBL does require merit-based pay for certain employees of the State, its political subdivisions and school districts, and board and commission members. Specifically, the CBL requires that the following persons be paid a wage or salary based upon merit:
- Any employee whose position is included in the job classification plan that the Director of Administrative Services must establish under continuing law for all positions, offices, and employments the salaries of which are paid in whole or in part by the state;
- Any public employee whose wage or salary can be fixed by an appointing authority without reference to the Department of Administrative Services Personnel Law or other parameters, generally;
- Board and commission members;
- Part-time employees;
- Exempt employees;
- Regular full-time employees in positions assigned to classes within the instruction and education administration, except certificated employees on the instructional staff of the State School for the Blind or the State School for the Deaf, whose positions are scheduled to work on the basis of an academic year rather than a full calendar year;
- Correctional Institution Inspection Committee staff, excluding the Director;
- Assistants, stenographers, and clerks that the Attorney General appoints to carry out the Charitable Trust Law, to be fixed by the Attorney General;
- Members of the Development Financing Advisory Council;
- Employees of the Department of Development, Division of Economic Development;
- Members of the Minority Development Financing Advisory Board;
- Seasonal and casual employees in the service of the state, except for elected officials; legislative employees; employees of the Legislative Service Commission; employees who are in the unclassified civil service and exempt from collective bargaining coverage in the office of the Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, and Attorney General; employees of the courts; employees of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation whose compensation the Administrator establishes; or employees of an appointing authority authorized by law to fix the compensation of those employees;
- Employees who are paid directly by warrant of the Director of Budget and Management and who are serving in a position that the Director of Administrative Services has determined impracticable to include in the state job classification plan, except for elected officials; legislative employees; employees of the Legislative Service Commission; employees who are in the unclassified civil service and exempt from collective bargaining coverage in the office of the Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, and Attorney General; employees of the courts; employees of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation whose compensation the Administrator establishes; or employees of an appointing authority authorized by law to fix the compensation of those employees;
- Teachers employed by a city, exempted village, local, or joint vocational school district;
- The Director of the State Lottery Commission;
- The Executive Director of the Casino Control Commission, salary to be determined by the Casino Control Commission;
- Only the two Self-Insuring Employers Evaluation Board members who are not also members of the Commission;
- The Executive Director of the Accountancy Board;
- Each public utilities commissioner;
- The Consumer’s Counsel;
- Physician specialists in the Department of Mental Health, pay to be fixed by the Director of Mental Health;
Employees of each county board of developmental disabilities; and
- Employees of the board of trustees of a joint emergency medical services district.
With respect to public schools, the CBL prohibits public school districts from entering into a CBA that does specified things, such as establishing a maximum number of students who may be assigned to a classroom or teacher. The CBL requires merit-based pay for most public employees, including teachers and non-teaching school employees and board and commission members, and makes other, related changes, such as generally eliminating statutory salary schedules and steps. While the legislature has chosen to abolish continuing contracts for teachers, it does grandfather in those continuing contracts in existence prior to the effective date of the CBL.
The CBL allows the Board of Education of any school district to govern employee health care benefits in the same way as the governing board of any public institution of higher education. The Boards of Education are required to adopt policies to provide leave with pay for school employees and abolishes statutorily provided leave for those employees. There is no deadline for establishing said policies by the Boards.
Any CBA must comply with all state and local laws or ordinances relative to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment, unless such a conflicting provision establishes benefits that are less than provided in the law or ordinance. During any negotiations relative to public schools, the parties are required to consider the financial status of the public employer at the time of any such negotiations, for purposes of determining the ability of the employer to pay for any agreed terms.
If a dispute arises, procedures for resolution have been adjusted. Instead of requiring a final offer of settlement to be presented, where a public employee does not have a right to strike, the public employer is absolved of this conciliation procedure. When a public employer and an exclusive representative are unable to reach an agreement in collective bargaining, they can submit the issues in dispute to any mutually agreed upon settlement procedure, and if 90 days passes without an agreement, the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) must appoint a mediator to assist the parties in the collective bargaining process. The Bill outlines the procedures that will be used in conjunction with existing law, to reach a resolution.
Expressions of views, opinions, and arguments are no longer unfair labor practices and cannot be used as evidence of an unfair labor practice, unless accompanied with a threat. Both the public employer and the SERB must post, in a conspicuous location on a web site maintained by the board and the employer, the terms of the last CBA offered by the employer and the exclusive representative at specific times. For alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the person or group administering the process will only be able to take certain things into consideration. The CBL prohibits a public official or employee from participating on behalf of a public employer in the CBA process with respect to any matter in which the official, employee, or the immediate family of the official or employee has a direct interest in the outcome of the matter. “Immediate family” is defined as a spouse residing in the person’s household or any dependent child.
The CBL does go into further detail, while this article touches on a few of those items. For a copy of the CBL, as signed into law, please note it can be obtained for free, as a matter of public record. The CBL was signed into law March 31, 2011, and was immediately effective. Notably, both the House and Senate passed the CBL in the day prior.
Sara Donnersbach is a Partner in the Cleveland office where she manages the Governmental Collections, Healthcare Collections, Commercial Utility Collections; and Landlord/Tenant Collections groups. She can be reached at 216.685.1039 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This includes employees of any agency, authority, commission, or board of the state, and of any state institution of higher education.
- ORC 4117.01 (G).
- CBL expands the impact on less collective bargaining for members of police and fire departments, by expanding the definition of “supervisor”, potentially making more people supervisors and ineligible to collectively bargain.
- State Teachers Retirement System, School Employees Retirement System, Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, State Highway Patrol Retirement System, and Public Employees Retirement System (the largest).
- A Fiscal emergency exists if the Governor declares the state to be in a state of fiscal emergency, the Auditor of State declares a public entity or a school district to be in a state of fiscal emergency, or a conservator is appointed for a state university or college.
- The CBL applies to a public employer that is a school district, educational service center, community school, or STEM school.
- The financial status cannot be based on the ability of the employer to pay for terms of the agreement on potential future increases in the employer’s income that would only be possible by the employer obtaining funding from an outside source, including the passage of a levy or a bond issue.
As a follow-up to the previous Client Advisory on this topic, dated March 7, 2011, the Ohio personal exemption of $425 is in addition to the protected amount, if any, calculated over the lookback period.
Using the same example in the earlier advisory:
An Ohio financial institution receives a garnishment order against an account holder for $8000 on December 2. The date of account review is the same day, December 2, when the opening balance in the account is $5000. The lookback period begins on December 1, the date before the date of account review, and ends on October 1, the corresponding date two months earlier. The account review shows that three Federal benefit payments were direct deposited to the account during the lookback period totaling $4500, one for $1500 on December 1, another for $1500 on November 1, and a third for $1500 on October 1. Since the $4500 sum of the three benefit payments posted to the account during the lookback period is less than the $5000 balance in the account at the open of business on the date of account review, the financial institution establishes the protected amount at $4500 and seizes the remaining $500 in the account consistent with State law. But consistent with Ohio law, the account holder has a personal exemption in the amount of $425. Consequently, the financial institution remits only $75 to the court in response to the garnishment order.
If you have any questions on this matter, please contact Mr. John B. C. Porter, Esq. John is the Managing Attorney in the Columbus Credit Union Group of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA. He can be reached at 614.857.4488 or email@example.com.
This past January Weltman, Weinberg & Reis sent out a call for nominations to all Ohio credit unions for our 2011 WWR Outstanding Community Partner Award. Our goal, to honor credit unions that actively partner with their local communities to provide educational, community outreach and/or community service programs. The response was enthusiastic and selecting a winner was very difficult! The winning credit union was Glass City Federal Credit Union of Maumee, Ohio. Glass City Federal Credit Union’s vision supports the initial principals of the credit union movement: “People Helping People.” The credit union first formed the Glass City Federal Outreach Committee in the Fall of 2007 which is comprised of employees from several branches with the shared goal of bringing different causes to the attention of the organization and helping the community. At the beginning of each Calendar year, the Outreach Committee approaches the staff and asks for their input on community events; specifically, what causes and organizations they are most passionate about. It is from this response that the Committee makes up the Outreach calendar for the following year. Glass City Federal Credit Union employees participated in over 20 community events last year raising awareness and funds for such charities as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and local food banks and humane societies just to name a few.
On April 6, 2011, John Porter, managing attorney with Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A. (WWR) presented Melanie Ogrodowski, Marketing Director, and Katie Beakas, Marketing Coordinator, of Glass City Federal Credit Union of Maumee, Ohio, with the 1st annual 2011 WWR Outstanding Community Partner Award at the Ohio Credit Union League InVest48 annual convention and trade show held at the Renaissance Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Along with a crystal trophy, Glass City Federal Credit Union received a $1,000.00 check to assist with their future charitable endeavors.
*Pictured left to right: Melanie Ogrodowski (Director of Marketing, Glass City FCU), Katie Beakas (Marketing Coordinator, Glass City FCU), Lauren Halton (WWR), John Porter (WWR) and Mark Slates (President and CEO, Glass City FCU)
All nominees demonstrated a company-wide commitment to community service and were recognized for their participation. Other nominees included Cincinnati Ohio Police Federal Credit Union (Cincinnati), Credit Union of Ohio (Hilliard), Day Air Credit Union (Dayton), Eaton Family Credit Union (Euclid), Fiberglas Federal Credit Union (Newark) and Harvest Federal Credit Union (Heath), Members First Credit Union (Columbus), Ohio HealthCare Federal Credit Union (Dublin), PSE Credit Union (Parma), Telhio Credit Union (Columbus) and Unity Catholic Federal Credit Union (Parma).
This award is meant to celebrate credit unions in Ohio that are investing time and resources into their communities and inspiring others through their work. We congratulate all our nominees on the work and commitment they have demonstrated, are proud to partner with Glass City Federal Credit Union as our inaugural winner and look forward to supporting credit unions for years to come.
Lauren Halton is a Credit Union Representative with Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA. She can be reached at 614.857.4382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Every year we exhibit at the Ohio Credit Union League convention and I try to take a few pictures from the event. This year, the League, as usual put on an extremely worthwhile show full of excellent speaker and vendor sponsored programs. I have to hand it to Paul Mercer and company. They really understand what a League needs to do for its members. Here’s a picture of Paul at the podium:
Here are Ben Laurendeau (CEO Firefighters Community Credit Union) and Julie Gee (CEO Community United Credit Union)
Here are my friends Carla Day (CU Chatup) and Amanda Thomas (Members First CU)
Tom Furrey and Bill Herring at the announcement of the creation of the William Herring foundation.
All in all, an excellent convention. I have more to say about a new award that John Porter and Lauren Halton developed, but I’ll save that for another post.
By Katherine Weber
If you are not involved in a CUSO, what are you waiting for? Are you not interested in making money? Or maybe you are not interested in saving money? It is intriguing to me to see the demographics of the credit unions involved in CUSOs—historically, they tend to be the larger credit unions. This is rather counterintuitive in some ways, as it is the smaller credit unions that could benefit the most from a CUSO. In fact, I would venture to say it is the smaller credit unions that should consider CUSO involvement to be mandatory for their survival! When it comes to the bottom line—which let’s face it—most credit unions are focused on the bottom line these days—CUSOs can either help you save money or generate the non-interest income you are looking for. In this economy, all credit unions should be looking for ways to trim down on expenses. We represent a CUSO the owners of which estimate the CUSO saves them each approximately one million dollars per year. Now that’s what I call trimming the fat! It’s a technology CUSO called OTS. It was originally formed by two credit unions each with over two billion in assets.
If making money or saving money does not convince you, would you like to be able to provide a broader scope of services to your members in a more efficient manner? CUSOs are the collaboration mechanism that enables credit unions together to be able to offer what individually they would not have the economic resources or personnel expertise to do so. Collaborative multi-owned CUSOs provide scale. CU Student Choice Partners, LLC is a perfect example of multiple credit unions of varying sizes collaborating to offer student loan products to members. It is not only an income generator but it is also infusing its credit union owners and users with a new much needed demographic of members. These members in college and graduate school have their entire financial lives ahead of them—from car loans, to mortgage loans to investments.
Still not convinced? Well, how about a combo of one and two—make money and offer an additional service to your members efficiently. CUSO Financial Services, LP is a broker dealer enabling credit unions to do just that. The broker dealer CUSO has 50 credit union owners and has paid out $15 million in distributions to its owners over the past three years. Would a new service along with extra earnings make an impact on your credit union?
This is not an advertisement for any particular CUSO. It hopefully motivates you to start thinking creatively. Start brain storming—where could you collaborate to save some money or make some money? What services do your members want? Whatever the idea, “There’s a CUSO for that!”
Katherine Weber is a partner at Messick & Weber P.C. and a co-host of the Current Issues in Credit Unions podcast.
By Shari Storm
I’ve been a mentor for Seattle University’s graduate program for several years. Yesterday, I invited Mary Kay Beeby, Owner of MK Consulting, to talk to my students. I’ve always admired Mary Kay. She was an engineer at Boeing in a decade that saw few women in such a role. She’s been a smart businesswoman her whole career.
One piece of advice she gave my students was to participate in any project that includes senior personnel and if at all possible, take a lead role. She told the story of how she was promoted at Boeing when a department manager saw how well she ran the Special Olympics Summer Games.
I’ve long held the theory that the ability to facilitate a good meeting can make or break your career.
A person who can run a good meeting demonstrates that they are talented at executing on a plan. A poorly run meeting is often an annoyance for the attendees and everyone leaves feeling less confident about the meeting organizer.
I’ve put together a few tips on running a successful meeting. I hope you find them useful.
How to Facilitate a Highly Productive Meeting
The focal point of any meeting is the first sentence you utter:
“I’ve brought you here today because…….”
Everything leading up to and after that sentence is what will make or break a good meeting.
When scheduling a meeting, make sure you have a concise idea of what you want to accomplish. There are several reasons for having a meeting:
- to distribute information
- to gather information
- to brainstorm ideas
- to assign action steps that move a project forward
Before you schedule a meeting, think through these things:
- who needs to be there and why?
- how long should it take and why?
- what are you going to accomplish at the meeting?
- what do you want people to come to the meeting with?
Make sure the attendees understand all four of these questions.
At the beginning of the meeting, spell out what you want to accomplish.
Guide the discussion with a firm and gentle hand. A few phrases should have in your arsenal:
- When people get off topic – “That is a good point, but I want to refocus to the topic at hand”.
- If someone starts talking for too long, “Shari, I’m going to stop you there and let someone else give their point of view”, (this often works best with a friendly hand motion toward the person speaking).
- If the conversation gets heated, “this doesn’t sound like this an issue we are going to solve in our 30 minute meeting. I’ll take everyone’s view point back for discussion”
Always wrap up the meeting with an overview of what was decided, what action steps were assigned and a recap of deadlines.
Other helpful tips –
- In regularly scheduled meetings, have someone taking notes via the computer, if possible. Email the notes to the people in attendance right after the meeting. This will help keep a running log for what you discussed and what you agreed upon.
- Assume meetings take 30 minutes. If you are going to ask for longer, make sure you communicate why.
- Use outlook to request meetings with people.
- Don’t be afraid of silence and don’t be afraid to prompt people to speak.
- Remember that introverts and extroverts behave differently in group settings. Don’t be surprised if introverts do not speak up at a meeting, but speak to you later about an issue. Sometimes it takes others longer to verbally articulate an idea.
- If you are going to pass out something that is long or complicated, make sure you give people time to read it before the meeting.
Shari Storm is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Verity Federal Credit Union and is the author of the book ‘Motherhood is the New MBA”, available here.