Hardship Fund Wrap Up

The Local 1857 Hardship Fund launch has concluded successfully with grants given to 40 members in good standing. 

The Hardship Fund was an idea borne of the knowledge that this past year our members were buffeted by economic downturns and fewer available KCLS hours to supplement our paychecks.  This reality – combined with careful stewardship of union finances and decreased costs to our union during the pandemic – created an opportunity to award members grants of $400. 

It is the strength of our Union and the support of our fellow members which make this possible.

All applicants met our criteria of being in good standing and, after a one week extension of the application deadline , checks were written, signed twice and mailed this past week. 

As part of the application process, we learned the money helped members make car payments, pay student loans, close out medical bills, reduce debts and better care for children among other necessities.  It was often repeated that applicants didn’t want to take away from others more in need and were grateful for this economic grant made possible by our membership. 

The Executive Board is thankful for the input of members in designing this program and the efforts of the Task Force which carried it out.  Lessons learned include streamlining data flow, helpful timelines and feedback and effective promotional methods. 

Hardship Fund

Help available for Members in need

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED ONE WEEK, UNTIL 5/14

Local1857 Main is able to assist Union Members in need with a financial award from a new Hardship Fund.  We recognize the impact that a year without sub hours at KCLS and pervasive job losses and economic distress has taken on many of our peers.

The money is available from a budgetary surplus due to fewer Union expenses over this past year and good stewardship of Members’ dues over the years.  This effort takes into consideration maintaining a healthy balance sheet for the Union and the work involved to manage and grant the awards. 

This project is undertaken with the goal of helping members in good standing – current in their dues – with an award size which balances available funds and an amount big enough to make a difference.  This year we aim to grant 100 individual Member awards of $400 dollars each or 133 awards of $300 each, depending on Member interest.  

If you have been negatively impacted by fewer KCLS work hours or other effects of the recent economic slowdown, apply for a financial award here.

EXTENSION! Applications will be accepted through May 14.

Q+A

How will the awards be decided?

All Members in good standing who apply have equal access to the award. If interest exceeds the number of meaningful awards, a lottery will be held.  The application asks for an optional explanation of how you would benefit which helps us understand the impact of the Hardship Fund project and, with your permission, may be used for highlighting the project.  

How will my privacy be assured if I do apply?

No individuals’ information will be shared. A small task force will be receiving and reviewing applications, verifying information and cutting checks. Confidentiality and privacy are values of the task force.

Why not just divide available monies equally among all 1857 Members?

With ~ 850 Members, we did not feel that an equal award for each would be a significant benefit.  

Why not suspend dues for Members instead?

The AFSCME Constitution requires local chapters collect dues which are used for staff costs for our Staff Representative, ongoing expenses including trainings, approved outlays and operational costs.

How will I get my award?

Awards will be mailed to your home in the form of a check when the application period is over and the task force has completed its review.

Can the awards be bigger?

Local1857 Main would have its own reporting liability for awards above $500 which is onerous for us.  An award of $400 or $300, depending on Member interest, is big enough to make a difference, can benefit a significant number of Members and allow the project to proceed simply. 

Is there tax liability to me in receiving this award?

Please check with the IRS for any increased tax liability for such an award. Local1857 Main is unable to provide tax guidance.

Will the Hardship Fund be ongoing?

We will evaluate the project and decide if we are able to repeat it based on interest, administration and available funds.

*NEW* Why was the deadline application deadline extended until 5/14?

Prior to the initial closing date of 5/7, we had capacity to benefit more members in need and want to try to increase the impact of this new Fund.

Ballots being placed in ballot box

Annual 1857 Election

Please consider joining the Local 1857 Executive Board during this upcoming annual election. This is a significant way to contribute to our Union and to be part of shaping priorities and helping in the vital work of representing our Members as a collective resource.

The following positions are ending their term and open for re-election:

Vice President Two Year Term

Secretary Two Year

Page at Large One Year

Page at large One Year

LTA at Large One year

Librarian at Large One year

PSA at Large One Year

Maintenance at Large One Year

All Other Classifications at Large One Year

Trustee Three Year

Descriptions of job duties can be found here, as listed in our Constitution.

Nominations will be taken at our General Membership Meeting on Friday, November 6 starting at 7pm via Zoom, or can be submitted in advance to Election Chair Victoria Kunze. Reach Victoria at vakunze@outlook.com

Any nominee who does not decline the nomination is assumed to be interested in running. Nominees do not need to be present on 11/6 to be nominated.

If only one nomination is received for any open position, they will be elected by acclamation. Any positions with more than one nominee will be voted on by the Local 1857 membership via an election conducted by US Mail during the month of November.

Common to all positions, is a commitment to meet monthly, currently virtually, on Friday evenings. Thank you for considering joining the Executive Board. New ideas, perspectives and insight are welcome and good for our Union.