The 2018 annual report of the industry's peak employers association PIAA highlighted the increasing influence of the trade body, and its growing range of professional services for its 762 members.
Commenting on the annual report PIAA president Walter Kuhn said, “I can only be confident and delighted by what I see in the year ahead –2019 – for Printing Industries and our members.”
Membership rose by 140, thanks to smaller printers and franchises joining, and this year's figure will show a further jump as virtually the all country's Kwik Kopy franchises have just joined, amongst others.
The report was presented at the AGM, which was held simultaneously at major locations around the country via satellite link up. CEO Andrew Macaulay said, “It was an overwhelmingly positive AGM. We had to bring things to a close, such was the buzz around the country between members. It was the first AGM for a long time where there was no struggle to reach the quorum.”
Its accounts showed the association continuing to recalibrate, recording another year of loss, as it continues to absorb legacy asset revaluations and works to balance operating costs with expenses. Macaulay said, “We are exactly where we forecast we would be, and anticipate that the next annual report will show the PIAA at break even, or very close to it.”
The report showed income and expenses both down by around $1m, with a loss for the year of $785,000. The loss was accommodated through cash reserves. Macaulay said, “The board made the decision that there would be no asset sell-off, and if any assets were sold any monies would be reinvested into income generating assets.”
The PIAA is now renting out its its real estate around the country, to create revenue. Its expansive Chatswood head office has now been sublet, with Macaulay and finance manager Matt Schembri relocating to a serviced office space in the city.
Salaries were down from $1.97m to $1.04m reflecting the restructuring of the association. There are now six full-time staff at the PIAA, including Macaulay as CEO, Schembri running finance, Sam Puri in IR, Ben Cornell as industrial accreditation officer, Jacobena Mills handling events, and Stephanie Gaddin responsible for communication.
Macaulay said the PIAA is currently looking at several proposals to benefit members and provide additional revenue to the association.
The association has current assets of $1.45m, down from $2.14m, and non-current assets of $5.45, from $5.75m in 2017. Liabilities are $536,000, down from $568,000 last year. Total equity is $6.36m.
The annual report noted that the association's IR hotline handled 663 calls from members during the year, with a number of members moving to use the online HR portal via the member website.
Macaulay said, “IR consultancy is one of the massive benefits of becoming a PIAA member. The membership fee covers all IR support, from hiring to firing and everything in between. There are no further charges, no additional hourly rates. We know there are alternative sources of IR support, but none of them come close to what the PIAA offers. We are not charging hundreds of dollars an hour, we are not locking printers into long term contracts. And we deal exclusively with print. The PIAA's IR support is really a staggering benefit of being in the association.”
Macaulay encourages print businesses to contact the PIAA's IR support at the start of any IR process. He said, “We will provide unrivalled support throughout, and all in the one member fee, but would encourage print businesses to consult us at the start, it can save a lot of their time later on.”
Kuhn highlighted several of the successes of the year. He said, “In workplace relations, we achieved key wins in several areas, such as our successful negotiation with AMWU’s Printing Division to ensure no adverse changes were made to the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010 as part of the Fair Work Commission’s 4 yearly review of modern awards.
Training has been a key focus of the PIAA, Kuhn reported that, “The Association’s VET lobbying was remarkably successful, noting a key win with the outcome of the South Australian Industry Priority Qualifications Information, Media and Telecommunications Moderation Meeting, this last year in which it was decided that TAFE print courses would remain fully funded, Prepress made a comeback as an apprenticeship and not a traineeship, and finally a new standalone qualification was added for digital print.”