Wednesday, September 12, 2018
At the September General Membership Meeting, on September 19th, your Executive Board will be recommending the adoption of a combined online and paper ballot voting system for the entire Local effective in 2020. 2020 is the first year we anticipate the need to use this new voting system since Dec. 31, 2019 is when GRT’s collective agreement will expire and the membership will then vote on a strike mandate and contract ratification during negotiations.
The 2018 Local 4304 General Election had the highest number of candidates and the highest voting turnout for our Local in recent memory. The election also required two run-off votes to ensure majorities were obtained for all Executive positions and to break a tie for a committee. The election was a significant cost to the Local in terms of covering the regular work for Election Committee members to the tune of approximately $12,000 (including lieu days). However, it should be noted that the Election Committee conducted themselves with integrity and did an excellent job and worked long hours to run the Election and count all the ballots.
In addition to the cost, the use of GRT’s various workplaces was required for all the voting days. GRT Management has made it clear that they do not approve of having an election using the workplace like this again.
To keep costs lower in the future, the keep the use of the workplace to a minimum and to improve access to voting to all the Local’s members in both bargaining units, your Executive Board has explored online voting options for future elections. A proposal from Simply Voting, which our Local already uses to manage voting at Great Canadian, was acquired which we believe will be more beneficial to the membership and save money.
The Simply Voting proposal is available at the following url, you are encouraged to browse through it before voting on the proposal at the September General Membership Meeting:
It was important to the Executive that a paper voting option still remain available to members who are not computer savvy or don’t wish to vote online. The proposal from Simply Voting includes an ‘offline’ voting option which will allow the Local to keep at least one or two polling stations for in-person voting would still be made available, possibly in the workplace or at the union hall.
The cost for the Local would be significantly lower for an election similar to the 2018 Election (three voting days) if the Simply Voting Proposal is adopted. A cost comparison follows…
2018 Unifor Local 4304 General Election Estimated Cost Comparison Breakdown
Estimated Cost for using existing system (100% in-person voting with multiple polling stations)
$12,000 Lost Wages (Full Election Committee with three voting days, ballot counting and day of rest for Election Committee members)
Estimated cost for using new hybrid (online/offline) voting system (1 in-person polling station to remain for offline voting access)
$668 Simply Voting Annual Plan (allows up to 10 votes, for any reason, per year)
$300 Voter Segmentation Option (One time fee)
$300 Multiple Election Administrator Option (One time fee)
$165 Tax (13% HST)
*$550 Lost Wages (6 Election Committee members per voting day, 2 managing the polling station for 8 hours and 4 members to count ballots, with three voting days)
ESTIMATED YEAR 1 COST: $1,983
*Note: Lost Wages estimates based on 8 hour shifts for Lost Wages at $30.08/hr.
It is fairly clear that our Local would save a significant amount of money, to the tune of $10,000 by adopting the voting new system for an election similar to the 2018 General Election.
Online voting would be able to be done on any computer or mobile device with internet access. There are several options that remain to be explored for distributing the voting/login information to the members, but none of these options represents a cost increase for the Simply Voting proposal.
It is the hope of your Executive Board that you, the membership, will adopt this new voting system by voting in favour of it at the September General Membership Meeting.
Yours in solidarity,
Unifor Local 4304