Friday, May 13, 2011

Special ballot return process required due to possible mail disruption.

Canada Post and their union (CUPW) have been in contract negotiations that have moved into the conciliation stage. Things aren't going well, and they will be in a legal strike / lock out position on May 25th.

Our problem is that Local 37 is getting ready to start balloting to elect delegates to the IBEW International Convention, which is held every five years. IBEW rules specify that we need to conduct a mail-in ballot for these delegates and the potential strike falls right in the middle of the time period when ballots will be sent out and returned. In order to avoid a potential disruption, we’ve been directed by IBEW International to find an alternative method to conduct balloting that is consistent with the normal mail-in ballot process.

The plan we’re going to implement is that ballots, return envelopes, etc., will be mailed to all Local 37 members at their home address at least a week before the potential strike date.

Our members can then select their choice for convention delegate; seal their ballot in the secret ballot envelope, and then place that in the return envelope. (The double-envelope system allows us to verify that members only vote once, while ensuring the secrecy of their choices.)

In order to return the ballots, we’ve made arrangements so that our members with access to NB Power internal mail can return their ballots using that system. For all other members, we are going to include a pre-addressed Purolator Courier envelope that they can use to return their ballot.

On June 25th, which is the counting day, the election judge will retrieve the ballots from the mailroom and from Purolator and they will be processed and counted.

By following this process, we can ensure that out delegate election will be completed in a proper manner, despite the possibility of a mail interruption.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Local 37 office tool free at 1-877-437-0037 or e-mail us at

Please vote and return your ballot – it’s one of your most important democratic rights, and it only takes a few minutes!

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