Local Treasurer

Protecting the funds and assets of the Local is the fundamental job of the Treasurer. Treasurers must carry out their duties and make sure that they comply with:

Federal Law

CWA Constitution

Local Bylaws

Union and Local Policies

The Duties and Responsibilities of the Treasurer are to:

  1. Share in responsibility of internal and external organizing. (The H-166 can be helpful in targeting internal organizing efforts.)
  2. Make worksite visits. (All officers should talk with the members at different worksites occasionally.)
  3. Provide communication link between members and the President.
  4. Perform all duties as required by the CWA Constitution and Local Bylaws.
  5. Prepare budget in consultation with other officers.
  6. Maintain financial records.
  7. Receive funds due to the Local, including dues payments from the International, cash dues, initiation fees, etc.
  8. Handle expenditure of funds.
  9. Secure authorization, documentation and explanation.
  10. Keep bank account records.
  11. Report on finances to Local.
  12. Report to membership.
  13. Furnish financial statement to International.
  14. Maintain records on employees.
  15. Prepare Forms W-4, W-2, W-3, 1-9.
  16. Prepare Forms 1099, 1096.
  17. Prepare Journal Ledger.
  18. Meet Federal Report requirements. LM reports

    Form 990 Unemployment Compensation Form 940 Quarterly tax report Form 941

  19. Meet state, county, city report requirements.
  20. Arrange for annual audit.
  21. Handle bonding coverage.
  22. Manage Local’s assets.
  23. Invest Local funds consistent with sound accounting practices and policies of the Local.


We strongly recommend that you take a few days and work through this list. Familiarize yourself with each of these documents and requirements. As you go through these items, note information that you may want to refer back to at a later date. If you have any questions on these items, ask your Local President or your Staff Representative.

Review CWA Constitutional requirements for Treasurer (See CWA Constitution Articles VI and XIII, Section 9.)

Review Local Bylaws requirements for Treasurer. Highlight sections in Bylaws for future reference. Remember, the Bylaws will give you authorization for certain payments and may require specific actions. Also review the Local’s operating practices or standing rules on ongoing expenses.

Review fiduciary responsibilities of Local Officers.

Review bonding requirements. Make sure that all Local Officers who handle union funds are properly bonded. This is a CWA Constitutional requirement. Bonding coverage should be a minimum of ten percent of total assets.

Review Local budgets from previous years. Calculate what percentage of total dues income was spent on each line item last year. This will help you assess where the money is being spent and may identify areas that need to be examined by the Board.

Review previous financial reports to members. You should make a special effort to see that financial reports are easy to understand and that they reach all the membership, not just those who come to membership meetings. When members know where the money goes, they are more likely to support the union and its programs.

Review bank accounts. Bank accounts should be in the name of the Local. The Local Bylaws should require that all checks be signed by two officers. This is also a recommendation of the U.S. Department of Labor and most auditors.

Review the Local’s procedures and policies for payment of bills. Local Union funds should be disbursed only by check. The only exception is a petty cash account. When a payment is issued, the invoice or statement should be marked paid, dated and the check number noted. This will safeguard against duplicate payment. Remember all expenditures of Local Union funds must have authorization documentation and explanation.

Review the Local’s procedures and policies for payment of expenses.

Review H-166 and make sure you understand what all the information means. Note trends, increases or decreases in members or nonmembers in certain locations, bargaining units, etc.

Review federal forms and report requirements LM and 990. Locate previous years federal forms and reports and briefly review.

Review applicable federal, state and city taxes paid in previous years. For example, payroll tax, real estate, withholding tax, etc.

Review how long you must keep Local financial records. (Five years in most cases)

Review the Local’s procedures for an annual audit. This is a constitutional requirement. If the Local uses an outside audit firm, you should set up an appointment to introduce yourself to the auditor.