In March, the ACE Executive Board voted to forgive dues for the months of April, May, and June 2020 to help members who may have been financially affected by the shelter-in-place order (SIP). Prudent financial stewardship over the years had allowed ACE to build healthy savings to be able to address future challenges. The executive board unanimously agreed this would be a prudent time to use some of that savings. In July 2020, after surveying the membership where over 40 percent of the membership indicated the SIP had financially impacted their household, the executive board agreed to extend the dues forgiveness through December 2020.
This month, the pandemic has surged again, and Santa Clara County has issued another SIP mandate. More businesses will close, once again potentially financially impacting member households as it did back in March. State and federal financial pandemic assistance is set to expire at the end of December, further exacerbating the issue.
To date, we have used $106,000 from savings. We are still able to fully fund a $500,000 strike fund, $10,000 for a five-percent operating reserve, and $25,000 for unsettled litigation (CalPERS). As part of the ACE 2020-2021 annual budget, we have also continued to set aside $100,000 for any legal action related to the classification study. As we near the end of our classification study, with the District funding the full cost of the study, there is no indication we will need to spend a fraction, if any, of the $100,000 we set aside when we started the study in 2017.
As such, using funding unspent from the classification study, and expenses projected not to exceed $43,000 for January through March 2021, the ACE Executive Board unanimously voted to forgive dues for January, February, and March 2021.
This is only possible because we are an independent labor association. We get to decide how we spend our dues. Our priority is always to support our membership.
On behalf of the ACE Executive Board,