Staff Union Vote

A vote on March 3 for United Steelworkers representation of Queen’s staff remains inconclusive.

The vote was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Wallace Hall.

The Queen’s News Centre reported that only 688 ballots out of the 1339 cast were counted after a dispute between the University and the union about who is eligible for the vote.

Vice-Principal (Human Resources) Rod Morrison told the in an email the Steelworkers Union and Queen’s had a disagreement on the bargaining scope of the union and the eligibility of members.

“The United Steelworkers applied to represent only the general staff,” he said. “The University administration thinks the bargaining unit should include Research, Contract and Grant staff, who have been covered by the same HR policies, benefits programs and salary structures for more than 20 years.”

The ballots that were counted included only those that were of no dispute. Of those 688 ballots, 381 were for certification, 306 were against certification and one was spoiled.

Morrison said a meeting will be held on Apr. 21 between the University and the Union with the hopes of coming to an agreement about eligibility.

“Steelworkers and Queen’s will have their first meeting with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to start discussing different positions on the scope of the bargaining unit and who is eligible for membership,” he said.

Morrison said if an agreement is not reached at the Apr. 21 meeting, subsequent meetings will be held.

“Once there is agreement on the bargaining unit, [the] segregated ballot – which were not counted but would represent eligible members of any agreed bargaining unit — will then be counted.”

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