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How JayStar Streamlines the Department of Labor’s (DOL) LM-2 Reporting Process

This time of the year, the part of our company which deals with LM-2 preparations goes into overdrive as most unions end their fiscal year in December, resulting in an LM-2 filing date in late March.

Ever since the information requirements in this area became more onerous a few years back, this part of our business has steadily grown and in the process we have refined the service and software we use to address this area. Whether a union decides to use our preparation services or not, here are some areas of general advice that we give to any union faced with filing this report.

Firstly, don’t look upon this requirement as an “end of year” exercise, but rather treat it as a year round process which will greatly ease the panic factor at year end and curb the stress of “rushing to meet the deadline.”

To achieve a smoother process, start by regarding your LM-2 preparation as three distinct areas.

  1. Data recording
  2. Data extraction and consolidation
  3. Filing

Here are some tips we can pass along in each area

  1. Data recording – This is mostly done in your accounting system. Try to work with a system which enables you to record the LM-2 information for each transaction AS YOU RECORD IT and WHICH IS IN ADDITION to the “regular” coding required for general ledger coding. The Department of Labor’s original recommendations, which advise basically increasing your general ledger accounts is NOT the most efficient way of doing this.  Systems like QuickBooks® and Microsoft Dynamics GP® have “class” or “analysis” codes which work much better in this area.*By capturing the LM-2 information as you record each transaction you will avoid a mass re-coding effort at the end of the year.
  2. Data extraction and consolidation – Once the data is captured as part of your regular accounting process, you need to extract it and group according to LM-2 schedule requirements. If you are using an accounting system like the ones I mention above, you should be able to extract your transactional data by creating customized reports and then exporting the results to Excel®.  In Excel you then have the ability to sort and group the data in accordance with DOL schedule requirements.
  3. Filing – The DOL software provides import routines to enable you to import your data into the web form without having to key every item. Getting your extracted data into one of the formats required may require some technical expertise, but since some LM-2’s can run into hundreds of pages, the time spent here will be well worth it.

Obviously there are many considerations and details to consider in the above steps. Experts like our business or your CPA can advise you on each step of the LM-2 process and do so in accordance with the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS). For instance, our company uses specialized software for steps 1) and 2) above. This greatly reduces manual effort and is far superior in terms of analysis, balancing, and audit trail provision.

We have also created specialized “Toolkits” for step 1) above, for some of the more popular accounting systems. If you would like a free copy of one of these, or for more information, please contact us at info@jaystargroup.com or 203-831-8655 and we will be happy to assist you.

Also take a look at U.S. Congressman Jim Himes visiting our offices during last year’s busy LM-2 preparation season.

Posted in: Labor Unions, LM-2

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New York Bus Drivers Strike Hits Home

When I came across an article about the New York bus drivers strike in the NY Times, I am reminded that for the first 10 years of my life, my father was a bus driver and a union man. Although he eventually moved on from being a bus driver, he remained a union man his whole work life.

My father worked for the city back in my native Scotland, and like the workers in this story, he was more than just somebody who drove them around. He was a familiar face on his route, and a symbol of dependability. I can remember when my friends and I would get the opportunity to ride on his bus, and that I felt VERY proud this guy everybody knew was in charge, and that he was MY father.

Later in life I would reflect that he carried responsibility for many people’s lives in the same manner as an airline pilot, but yet worked long hours and was paid low wages. Like most workers in Scotland up until the 1960’s, he worked Christmas day as a matter of course.  By 1963 staff turnover amongst bus drivers was over 50% in a 12 month period. In 1964 his union went on strike like the workers in New York and things started to change, but by that time he was in another job as a telecommunications engineer with strong union representation.

He never worked another Christmas.

Posted in: Labor Unions

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Welcome to the JayStar Group Blog!

With the launch of our blog, we are excited to extend our knowledge and expertise on labor unions and back office solutions to the World Wide Web.

On our blog you can expect to find the latest information and news on some of the following topics:

  • LM-2 preparations and compliance
  • Dues processing and management
  • Union membership systems
  • Grievance management systems
  • Accounting software
  • Customized  software solutions for unions
  • Solutions in the cloud
  • Staff reflections to industry articles and topics
  • Free tips and downloads
  • Labor Union updates
  • Product announcements
  • And much more!

We will be posting to our blog regularly and we encourage visitor interaction and comments. Commenters can expect to get a prompt response from the JayStar Group staff when suitable. While we do appreciate any interaction with our blog we do ask that comments and language are kept appropriate. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that being said, any outside comments and visitor replies do not reflect the ideologies of JayStar Group and are opinions of the party that is posting. JayStar Group maintains the right to moderate anything posted by visitors that is deemed as diminishing or offensive to others. We also ask that you do not address customer service related topics through the blog but reach us via our Contact Page.

Here at JayStar Group we will also be looking to spread our reach through various social media outlets. We encourage you to follow us for the latest news and tips on labor unions. Social media links can be found on the top right portion of this page and we welcome you and or company/organization to interact with us.

Over the upcoming months we will be offering a variety of different posts and free downloads as JayStar Group continues to grow, and provide labor unions throughout North America with our software solutions.

If you have suggestions of things you would like to see from our blog, we would love to hear from you. Or for more information or questions about JayStar Group and our labor union software please contact info@jaystargroup.com.

Posted in: General, Labor Unions, News

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