Executive Recommendation: Adoption of a hybrid online/paper ballot voting system effective in 2020

Executive Recommendation: Adoption of a hybrid online/paper ballot voting system effective in 2020

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)


*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,

Warren Schnurr
Recording Secretary
Unifor Local 4304

Posted in: Messages & Announcmenets

Leave a Comment (0) →

Meeting Notice/Agenda – September 19, 2018

Meeting Notice/Agenda – September 19, 2018

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2018 AT 11:00AM & 7:30PM



1) ‘No Quorum’ General Membership Meeting Minutes from June 27, 2018 to be approved

1) Any reports submitted in advance are provided for information
2) Any other reports from the floor?

1) Financial Report for month of June 2018 to be approved
2) Financial Report for month of July 2018 to be approved
3) Financial Report for month of August 2018 to be approved

1) Adoption of a hybrid online/paper ballot voting system effective in 2020.  Please see: http://bit.ly/4304VotingProposal
2) Approval of training for remaining stewards, in both bargaining units, before the end of 2018

1) Executive Board Meeting Minutes from July 19, 2018 provided for information
2) Executive Board Record of Business from July 28, 2018 provided for information
3) Executive Board Meeting Minutes from August 14, 2018 provided for information
4) Executive Board Record of Business from August 27, 2018 provided for information
5) DRAFT Executive Board Meeting Minutes from September 11, 2018 provided for information

1) Notice of Motion from June: Investigate possibility of webcasting union meetings – Dave Leitch

1) Advanced winter training proposal for GRT – Walter Prinsen
2) Availability of stewards on evening shifts at GRT – Rob McNall
3) Union representation for students paying dues to Local 4304 – Tyler Kress
4) Any other new business from the floor?

1) Is there any good and welfare? Does any member know of another member in need?


Reports from Committees: Committees should submit WRITTEN reports, as required by the Unifor Local 4304 By-Laws, to recordingsecretary@unifor4304.org no later than Tuesday, September 18, 2018 so they may be distributed to the members attending the General Membership Meeting.

Attendance Reminder for Local 4304 Representatives: In accordance with the Unifor Local 4304 By-Laws, all Officers, Committee Chairpersons and Chief Stewards are required to attend at least 2 out of every 3 General Membership Meetings unless proper regrets are given to, and approved by, the Executive Board.

Posted in: Meeting Agenda/Notice, Meeting Notices

Leave a Comment (0) →

October uXpress Submissions

October uXpress Submissions


The October edition of uXpress needs contributions from members just like YOU! Don’t have an idea for an article?

  • Don’t have an idea for an article? We will help you find one!
  • Can’t write? We will help with that too!

Send your work-related articles, pictures or event notices to: uxpress@unifor4304.org (Google Docs preferred)

Deadline: Sunday, September 23 


Ken Vogelpohl, Education Committee
Unifor Local 4304

Posted in: Union Newsletter

Leave a Comment (0) →

Welcome Ken Vogelpohl

Welcome Ken Vogelpohl

Allow me to introduce the newest member of the Education committee, Ken Vogelpohl. Ken was appointed to the Education committee by an Executive motion on Aug. 14th. His first order of business will be to assemble our next edition of the uXpress due out at the end of September.

The reason behind this decision was to add technical skill to our committee, which Peggy felt she was unable to fulfill. So myself and Peggy put the motion on the floor to add the runner-up Ken to the Education committee.  Both Peggy and myself will assist him by recruiting writers and editing any articles that our members submit. The deadline is Sept. 24th, but Ken will tell you more about that later.

Ken comes to us as a former English teacher in Japan. He is also a frequent contributor to the uXpress with great writing skills. He is one of those rare people that seem to be a compulsive editor. This drive to make text look perfect is just the thing our membership needs in an editor.

Ken is also fairly new to Transit, having gained full-time status on Jan. 2, 2017. I’ve been looking for a new perspective for our newsletter for a while now, as I’ve had to do it alone for the past three years. Both Peggy and Ken have some great ideas.

Our committee met for the first time on Aug. 28th and had an extremely positive meeting. We managed to put together our Terms of Reference, editing guidelines, and the overall goals of the Education Committee. Tim Jewell was also present and provided great input. I’ll be writing up a full report for the next Union meeting on Sept. 19th. Hope to see you there.

John A. McDonald, Education Committee chair.

Posted in: Union Newsletter

Leave a Comment (0) →

In Memory of Brother Ron Martin

In Memory of Brother Ron Martin

Unifor Local 4304 members at Grand River Transit are mourning the loss of one of their colleagues. Kitchener Conventional Bus Operator Ron Martin passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 26th. Ron originally started driving for Kitchener Transit in 1990 and has been a well-known figure on Route 8 in Kitchener-Waterloo for most of his bus operating career in Waterloo Region. He will be greatly missed by everyone at Grand River Transit.

Obituary follows…

MARTIN, Ronald Emerson Passed away peacefully at his residence surrounded by family on Sunday, August 26, 2018, at the age of 63 years. Ron Martin was the beloved husband of Lois (Jackson) Martin. Dear stepfather of Kate (Steve) Deveaux. Loved ‘Dumpy’ (grandpa) of Andrew, Hayden, Sydney and Alyson. Survived by sisters Elaine Schlueter (Lloyd) and Rene Huntley (Jeff). Predeceased by parents Edwin and Almeda (Schallhorn) Martin. Ron was an employee of Grand River Transit for 25 years. Visitation will take place on Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Dreisinger Funeral Home, 62 Arthur St. S., Elmira, where a funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Reception to follow. Interment will take place in St. Matthew’s Lutheran Cemetery, Conestogo. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region or the Hospice of Waterloo Region would be appreciated. www.dreisingerfuneralhome.com

Posted in: In Memory

Leave a Comment (0) →

Notice: Pending Unifor Website Migration

Monday, August 27, 2018

To all Unifor Local 4304 members,

At our most recent Executive Board Meeting the Executive approved the transfer/migration of the Unifor Local 4304 website to a new web hosting provider starting in September.  The new hosting provider provides comparable services to that of our current hosting provider at a lower cost and on Canadian servers (opposed to the current US servers of our existing hosting provider).  Over the first 3-year term this transfer will save our Local about $1,000 in hosting costs and will move our website from a US business to a Canadian business.

I will be transferring our website to the new web host in the first week of September.  During this time there may be some downtime as our domain is transferred and the DNS services propagate to point our web address to the new host, the website address will remain the same.  Also during this transition there may be some service interruptions to the e-mail of the Local’s signing officers since we use a unifor4304 e-mail address for much of our official union business, but we have already begun preparations for this.

None of the membership logins should be affected once the transfer is complete, so once the migration is finished your existing website login will still work as it does now.  But, again, there may be some downtime during the transfer itself.  If there is any information you believe you absolutely need access to off the union website during the first week of September please go and download it ahead of time.  This could include anything from your unit’s collective agreement if you need to reference it or for GRT operators, any of the maps/directions for the coming Fall schedule period.

If you have any questions about the website transfer please feel free to ask.

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Unifor Local 4304

Posted in: Messages & Announcmenets

Leave a Comment (0) →

Time is Running Out! 25th Annual Dick Struthers Memorial GRT Golf Tournament

Time is Running Out! 25th Annual Dick Struthers Memorial GRT Golf Tournament

Time is running out to sign-up for this years golf tournament.  Contact Kelly Hearty at 519-570-6389 or at kelly.hearty@hotmail.com ASAP to sign up!


The 25th Annual Dick Struthers Memorial Golf Tournament will take place on Sunday, September 16th, 2018 at Grand Valley Golf Club, 1910 Roseville Rd, Cambridge in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation.  Participation is open to members in all Unifor Local 4304 Bargaining Units!

How much?
$100 per golfer

Payment can be made be cash or e-transfer.

Breakfast at 7:30AM
Tee-Time at 8:00AM
Dinner at 1:30PM
Shot Gun Start!

For more information you may contact Kelly Hearty at 519-570-6389 or kelly.hearty@hotmail.com

The Dick Struthers Memorial Golf Tournament is Sponsored By:

Posted in: Special Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

Labour Day Picnic 2018

Labour Day Picnic 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

All Unifor Local 4304 members are encouraged to join the Waterloo Regional Labour Council for the annual community picnic in celebration of Labour Day raising money for our local United Way! This family event includes food, face painting, play area, and live music!  Labour Day 2018 also marks Unifor’s 5th Anniversary!

The picnic will be held on Monday, September 3, 2018 at the Westmount Road entrance to Waterloo Park in Waterloo, Ontario.  All FREE with a donation to the United Way!



Posted in: Special Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

Part-time sign-up update

August 17, 2018

The live sign-up link and Bidweb are updated for the Part-time sign-up that starts on Monday morning at 8:00 am. The signing list and available work is also posted at Strasburg garage.

Live sign-up link is:


There are 59 pieces of work to choose from which includes the temporary work and single Saturday and Sunday shifts. We only have 50 people on the list to sign on Monday so if you don’t choose something initially you may be forced to take a Saturday or Sunday shift if there are any left after everyone has signed. They can’t force anyone to take a temp assignment but you can be forced to take a Sat/Sun shift.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at pwagler22@gmail.com

For the operators signing vacation relief on Tuesday – Bidweb will be open for your picks on Monday afternoon around 3:00 PM.

Paul Wagler

Chair, KWSA Scheduling Committee

Posted in: Messages & Announcmenets

Leave a Comment (0) →

Notice of Motion

Notice of Motion

Thursday, August 16, 2018

In accordance with the Unifor Local 4304 By-Laws, the following motion was tabled at the June General Membership Meeting and will be voted on at the September General Membership Meeting (Wednesday, September 19, 2018):

MOTION: That Local 4304 investigate the possibility of webcasting union meetings online for the membership.
MOVED BY: Dave Leitch
SECONDED BY: John A. McDonald

In solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Recording Secretary
Unifor Local 4304

Posted in: Meeting Notices, Notice of Motion

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 12 12345...»