Teaching assistant, fellow unionization vote results inconclusive

Groups await inquiry into voter eligibility

Yesterday, TAs and TFs cast their ballots deciding whether or not to unionize.

In the certification vote, 332 people voted for unionization and 378 people voted against it. Two ballots were spoiled and there were 93 segregated ballots.

PSAC (Public Service Alliance of Canada) regional organizer Christopher Wilson said a segregated ballot results from the eligibility of a voter being in question. The Ontario Labour Relations Board will count the segregated ballots separately after making a ruling as to the eligibility of the voters.

"The Labour Board has to make a status inquiry," he said. "I can speak on behalf of PSAC and say our union will ensure that each voter who is eligible to vote will have their ballot cast."

A status inquiry would mean determining the eligibility of the voters whose ballots are in dispute. In order to participate in the certification vote, a TA or TF has to have be employed by Queen's as of Nov. 20 2008.

Wilson said the outcome of the certification vote is undetermined because a ruling on the segregated ballots could potentially impact the results.

"It would be a disservice to tell people either yes or no when it is not fact."

Wilson said the Ontario Labour Relations Board will meet with PSAC and Queen's University.

"The Labour Board generally convenes a meeting within a month."

Wilson said the Labour Board will undertake a two step process. First, a ruling as to the eligibility of the segregation votes is made. Second, the number of eligible votes determines whether or not they are counted.

"If it doesn't affect the outcome of the vote, they won't count them."

Since May, TAFA (Teaching Assistant and Fellow Associates) has been campaigning for Queen's TA's and TF's to join PSAC.

Wilson said there were 1300 people on the voter's list.

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