Thank you for the excellent questions we’ve received. This vote is a life changing opportunity – that’s why it’s important to make an informed decision. Here are some frequently asked questions and the facts.
Click here to download a printable pdf version.
Question 1: Why is it so important to join OPSEU?
Answer: With the change in Ontario’s political climate, it is more important now than ever to protect your job. With OPSEU, you will have the full strength of the union behind you every step of the way.
As the only non-unionized group working at UOIT, you are particularly vulnerable to changes on the horizon. You deserve the same level of protection that your coworkers currently have, and we are committed to providing that protection.
Question 2: Will the vote impact our upcoming salary increase?
Answer: The vote will not affect your increase whatsoever. In fact, voting to unionize will guarantee you receive your wage increase. With OPSEU you will be supported. We will hold your employer accountable for the commitments they’ve made to you.
You might have heard the term “freeze provisions” being used. If OPSEU is successful, these provisions will remain in place until you ratify your first collective agreement. This provision was created to protect employees from any negative fallout from deciding to unionize; it ensures that your employer can’t retaliate. Once unionized, any changes to your current terms – including revoking your salary increase – would require the approval of both parties. OPSEU would never agree to any changes that would negatively impact you and your colleagues.
Question 3: Will the vote impact our ability to take flex days this summer?
Answer: The simple answer is no. The vote will not affect your ability to take flex time. Again, OPSEU will hold your employer accountable, and guarantee that your flex time is not lost.
OPSEU is dedicated to ensuring our members enjoy a healthy work/life balance. That’s why many of our current collective agreements include flex time language.
Question 4: How does the voting process work?
Answer: The voting takes place at your workplace, and is completely confidential. It is the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) that determines the final vote times and locations and conducts the vote. We are hopeful that the OLRB will provide two officers from the Board to oversee the vote on Thursday June 21.
There will be scrutineers present on behalf of OPSEU and the employer, however, the Labour Board officers are there to ensure everyone that chooses to vote has the ability to do so, without intimidation or interference.
Scrutineers from the union and the employer will not be allowed to speak with or answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask the Board officer before casting your ballot.
When you go in to vote, the Board officer will ask for your name. ID is not required. Once they find your name on the voter’s list, the officer will give you a ballot. You will mark your ballot behind a private screen. This is a secret ballot vote, so your employer will never know how you voted.
Question 5: If I’m not on the employer’s list, can I still vote?
Answer: Yes! If you are not included on the employer’s list, you can still vote.
Your vote will simply be segregated by the Labour Board Officer in order to verify its eligibility. This means that instead of placing your marked ballot directly in the ballot box, you will be asked to place your ballot into an unmarked envelope and seal it. You will then place the sealed envelope into a larger envelope with your name on it. This ensures your vote remains confidential, but allows the union, the Labour Board and the employer to determine whether your vote should be included.
If it is determined that you are eligible to vote, the inner envelope (that does not contain your name) will be added to a pile of other segregated envelopes – this ensures they are mixed up and remain confidential. It is the neutral third party labour board officer who will remove all ballots from the blank envelopes and place them in the ballot box to be counted.
If your ballot is segregated you can be assured that it will remain confidential.
Question 6: Will PSAC be on the ballot?
Answer: PSAC will not be an option on the ballot. They withdrew their representation application, and are encouraging all administrative, professional and technical employees at UOIT to choose OPSEU this Thursday, June 21.
Here is PSAC’s letter of support.
The question is simple:
Once you mark your ballot, you will be instructed to place it in the ballot box. That’s it! It’s very simple and will take only a few minutes. You can vote at any location, and at any of the poll times.
At the end of the day, the Labour Board officers will count the ballots. If 50% plus 1 of the ballots are YES you will become an OPSEU member.
We encourage you to vote and sincerely hope you will vote YES!