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Hundreds of miles apart but united in commitment: Payroll Deduction


First Community Credit Union of Beloit and Co-op Credit Union in Black River Falls are in different parts of the state but share an important connection; both are among the committed credit unions standing up for the credit union movement through Payroll Deduction. Each payday, employees of both credit unions set aside small donations to support pro-credit union lawmakers, legislators in key positions and candidates to ensure credit unions remain politically relevant and influential.


Jack Gill, President at First Community CU of Beloit, says his employees received a presentation about Payroll Deduction and were glad to participate. Nearly half of the staff got on board immediately because they felt they could collectively make a huge impact for credit unions simply by contributing at whatever level they felt comfortable.

"Our employees want what's best for our members, and they know that it's critical to keep legislators in office who will look out for members' interests. We have to be involved to protect our ability to provide top-notch service to our members," Gill said.


Co-op Credit Union, which has been participating in Payroll Deduction for some time, has 40 employees enrolled, including front line staff.


"Currently more than half of CCU’s employees contribute to the program, and many increase their contribution from year to year," said Co-op's President, Eric Chrisinger. "We know it’s more important than ever to be engaged in the legislative process, for both the credit union industry and for our members."


"Once a year we talk about payroll deducting for WCULAF and CULAC at our employee meeting. We all understand how important it is to share the credit union difference with our legislators, but not everyone can travel to make the face to face visits. The Payroll Deduction program is an ideal way for all of our employees to make a legislative impact – at an amount that fits into their budget," he added.

Today, less than 2% of Wisconsin’s more than 7,400 credit union employees use Payroll Deduction. If just half of those employees donated $2 per pay period, we would raise $177,912 for CULAC and our state PAC, WCULAF, to help pro-credit union candidates.


"To put that in perspective," said League VP of Government Affairs Tom Liebe, "we’d reach 229% of Wisconsin’s CULAC goal and have $53,373 just for state legislators in WCULAF."


Consider this: Wisconsin credit unions rank 7th in the U.S. for business lending activity and are the 3rd closest - in aggregate - to hitting the federal cap on credit union business lending.  Yet, Wisconsin ranked 30th in donations to CULAC, the federal political action committee (PAC), which supports pro-credit union federal lawmakers and candidates.


"Our movement is strongest when lawmakers that support legislation benefiting credit unions are in office," Liebe emphasized.


Individuals can use Payroll Deduction to jointly contribute to WCULAF and CULAC or to deposit funds into their Credit Union Members’ Conduit Account. Participation and all donations are strictly voluntary.

The League’s Payroll Deduction brochure describes the different accounts and how all these small contributions work together to strengthen the movement.


To further discuss or initiate Payroll Deduction, contact Jim Drogue at 514-0079.

©2005 Wisconsin Credit Union League. All rights reserved.
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