Vote Information for OPS Locals and Members
A special email was sent out to OPS members from OPSEU. Attached was a link to a PDF document providing some Q & A on the upcoming vote such as who can vote, what the ballots will say, etc. Here are those Q & As below.
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1. How will the vote be conducted? The law says the vote must be by secret ballot and that those entitled to vote must have “ample opportunity.” The law requires the time and place for voting to be “reasonably convenient.”
2. Who can vote? By law, all employees in the OPS bargaining unit(s) represented by OPSEU are eligible to vote. That includes all OPSEU members and OPSEU non-members, including parttime, casual, temporary, seasonal employees with recall rights and other non-classified employees. It includes those who have not signed union cards. Members on Long Term Income Protection (LTIP), worker’s compensation, pregnancy and other leaves are also entitled to vote.
3. When is the vote? Voting will take place on October 27, 28, 29. (For Local 468: Vote will be held October 28 from 7AM to 7PM in the Ontario Room of the Ambassador Hotel)
4. Where will I vote? Locals will be grouped together in one central location, as much as possible. The vote will be scheduled to accommodate shift work. The OPSEU Regional Offices will be responsible for making the necessary vote location arrangements.
5. When will I know when and where to vote? Voting takes place on October 27, 28, 29. This information is posted on the OPSEU website at http://opseu.org/news/vote-locations-ops-bargaining-contractcentralunified. The Regional Offices will inform the Locals on the locations and times of the voting on those dates. The Locals are then responsible for giving reasonable notification of the date, time and location of the vote meetings. OPSEU Head Office will prepare a standard notice form to use to advertise the vote. (For Local 468: Vote will be held October 28 from 7AM to 7PM in the Ontario Room of the Ambassador Hotel)
6. Have the bargaining units changed? No. The bargaining units remain the same as they did in the previous round of bargaining.
7. What issues are negotiated at the bargaining unit tables? Wages, hours of work, overtime, on-call, standby, shift schedules and training and other issues agreed to by the union and the employer may be negotiated at the two bargaining unit tables.
8. What issues are negotiated at the Central table? Generally, the law requires that issues that cover all employees in the OPS are negotiated at the central table: this includes job security, the grievance procedure, and insured benefits.
9. Who votes on which tentative settlement? Each Unified bargaining unit member who is eligible to vote receives two ballots: › one for the Central tentative settlement › one for the Unified tentative settlement Each Corrections bargaining unit member who is eligible to vote receives one ballot for the Central tentative settlement only, since their bargaining unit table does not yet have a tentative agreement. On your ballot(s) you may vote YES or NO
10. What will the ballots say? Each ballot will offer a clear choice. For both Central and Unified, the ballots will read:
› Yes, I approve the tentative settlement.
› No, I reject the tentative settlement and authorize the bargaining team to call a strike if necessary.
11. What are the bargaining teams recommending? The Central Team recommends that all members (Unified and Corrections) vote YES to the Central tentative settlement, which covers all OPS members. The Unified Team recommends that all members in the Unified bargaining unit vote YES to the Unified tentative settlement, which covers Unified members.
12. Is it possible to vote YES on the Central tentative settlement, and vote NO on Unified tentative settlement, or vice versa? Yes.
13. What happens if I vote YES to Central, and YES to Unified?
IF YOU ARE A UNIFIED MEMBER AND YOU VOTE YES to:
› The Central tentative agreement; and
› The Unified tentative agreement; that means acceptance and ratification of the tentative agreements and it becomes your next collective agreement.
IF YOU ARE A CORRECTIONS MEMBER AND YOU VOTE YES to:
› The Central tentative agreement; that means acceptance and ratification of the tentative Central agreement. When the Corrections agreement is completed and ratified, this and the Central agreement become your next collective agreement.
14. What happens if I vote NO to Central or Unified? If you vote NO, you authorize your bargaining teams to return to bargaining and, if it becomes necessary, call a strike to obtain a better offer.
15. How can I get information about the final offer? Table Talk #28 with detailed notes on the tentative agreements and the full text of the actual agreements are available on the OPSEU website at http://opseu.org/news/opstable-talk-2015-issue-28-details-of-tentative-agreement-reached-with-government-bycentral-unified-bargaining-team.
16. As a Region 5 member, I work in Toronto but live outside the Region. Can I vote closer to where I live? Every member will have the opportunity to vote within the Region they work or the Region their local belongs to. All members across the province must vote within their own Local and Region. Region 5 members can vote in any one of three locations set up over a three-day period in the Region 5 Area.
17. What if my current work location is in a different Region than my home work location and local? You may vote at the voting location closest to the area you are currently assigned.
18. I will be on vacation at the time of the vote. Can I vote now? No. Under OPSEU policy, there are no advance polls. Proxy voting is not permitted.
19. I work in a remote location where it will not be possible to attend a balloting location, or for me to attend one elsewhere. How will I vote? Every effort will be made to ensure that you and your co-workers in remote locations can vote. Details of these arrangements will be worked out by your OPSEU Regional Office. If it is determined that it is impossible for you to attend a balloting location, you will be sent a mail-in ballot. For more information, contact your local or Regional Office.
20. I have a disability that will prevent me from attending a balloting location. How will I vote? Every effort will be made to make all balloting locations accessible to persons with disabilities. Those employees who cannot be accommodated at the balloting location should contact the Regional Office or the OPS Mob Room at firstname.lastname@example.org. OPS Contract Vote 2015
21. Will I be allowed to vote during work hours? OPS managers were encouraged to release staff in order to allow members to participate in the vote. Please note that you must obtain approval from your supervisor in order to leave work. Not all staff can or will be released where staffing does not permit, or due to the nature of work.
22. What do I need for identification in order to vote? Any proper identification is acceptable, e.g. union card, work-issued identification, driver’s license, etc.
23. What happens if I am not on the voter’s list? If your name is not on the voter’s list, you will still be allowed to vote provided you have a piece of identification (a current pay stub is also preferred). Your vote will then be segregated in a manner that does not allow anyone to know how you voted. OPSEU staff will then attempt to verify you as a member of the bargaining unit prior to the vote count.
24. How are votes tabulated? Votes are province-wide. The Unified ballots and the Central ballots will be counted up across the province. A majority of more than 50 per cent is needed to either accept or reject each Memorandum of Settlement.
25. On count day, will anyone from my Local be present? Yes. On count day, all Local Presidents (or their designees) are entitled to attend the counting sessions as scrutineers.
26. When will be vote results be released? All votes will be counted in each Regional Office on the evening of October 29 following the completion of the vote meetings. The results from across the province will be tabulated at OPSEU Head Office and released once tabulated. They will be communicated first to the Bargaining Teams, then to the Regional Offices and then to Local Presidents, who will ensure that the results are communicated to their members.