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Questions & Answers - Ministry supervised vote

Peel CAS
Ministry of Labour supervised vote
 
Date:   Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Place:  Versailles Convention Centre, 6721 Edwards Boulevard, Main Floor, Room B, Mississauga
Times:  8 am to 10 am; 12 noon to 2 pm; and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
 
Context
The Labour Relations Act permits an employer to ask the Ministry of Labour to direct a ‘final offer vote’. This vote is supervised by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.  The supervised vote is a one-time only option for Peel CAS to provide an opportunity for employees in the bargaining unit to anonymously vote on the last offer from Peel CAS to the union.
 
Why has Peel CAS initiated the supervised vote?
After six months of bargaining, a three month strike, and three bargaining sessions held with the assistance of a ministry-appointed mediator, the parties have failed to reach a settlement.  We think employees deserve the opportunity to vote on the offer.
 
What is a supervised vote?
A supervised vote is a secret ballot vote supervised by the Ministry of Labour.  It gives each employee in the bargaining unit an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote on the agency’s offer which if accepted, results in the ratification of the settlement and the end to the strike.
 
What happens when I vote?
The vote is taking place in a neutral location, Versailles Convention Centre, 6721 Edwards Boulevard, Main Floor, Room B. When you arrive you will be asked by the vote officer from the Labour Relations Board to identify yourself.  The officer will then confirm that you are eligible to vote.  You will be given a ballot and be given the opportunity to fill out the ballot behind a vote screen likely a cardboard cut out that will have been set up by the Labour Relations Board vote officer.
Your vote is anonymous and no one will be able to see how you vote.  You will then be asked to fold your ballot and put it in the ballot box which is sealed. 
 
Will anyone other than the Ministry of Labour vote officer be present?
Yes, the Peel CAS and the union will each have a representative at the polling station.  These individuals are vote scrutineers.  Their job is to ensure the vote is conducted fairly by checking the voters list as voters arrive to vote, assisting in the identification of voters and providing assistance as may be required by Labour Relations Board vote officer.
 
What will the ballot say?
The ballot will ask each voting member whether they accept Peel CAS’s last offer to the union. The final wording was determined by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.  The wording on the ballot is:  Are you in favour of acceptance of the offer last received by your trade union from your employer?
 
When will the results of the vote be known?
Votes are counted by the vote officer immediately following the closing of the last poll.  We have three polls and the last one closes at 6:30 pm.
 
If I choose to vote, will my vote be confidential?
Yes.  The ballot you fill out will not identify you in any way. Unless you decide to tell someone how you voted, no one will know how you voted.
 
What if I’m asked to say how I voted?
It is entirely up to you whether or not you tell anyone how you voted.  You are not required or expected to tell anyone.  It’s a personal and confidential matter.   If you feel intimidated or threatened or you are pressured to reveal how you voted to anyone you should report this to the Peel CAS HR department or a union representative.
 
What happens if a majority of those who vote choose to accept the offer?
The strike would end and a new collective agreement would take effect.  
 
What happens if the majority of those who vote choose to reject the offer?
The union can continue the strike.