In last week’s editorial, you stated that AMUSE – The Association of McGill University Support Employees – left some students “in the dark” by failing to adequately contact all potential voters. Out of respect for the newly accredited members of the bargaining unit and the supporters who spent countless hours contacting the eligible voters, I feel it is necessary to correct some blatantly incorrect facts you stated about the voting procedure.
The list of eligible voters was created by McGill – not AMUSE – and was supposed to consist of all non-academic casual employees who were working both at the time of the application to the Labour Board by AMUSE – April 2009 – and the start of the vote period itself – September 2009. Although all non-academic casual workers are part of the bargainning unit, only those who met this requirement were eligible voters. This is standard procedure and legal precedent, meant to prevent anti-union mass hirings by the employer.
Again as codified in law, it is the Labour Board who mails the voting ballots to ALL eligible voters to the address provided by McGill. AMUSE has NOTHING to do with the logistics of the vote.
With a copy of the voters’ list, AMUSE was able to send an informational flyer and voting reminder to every address on the list. AMUSE supporters also contacted most of the voters by telephone to inform them of the vote. Many voters were contacted more than once. All voters were also informed by email.
The email address you reference hasn’t been used for more to a year – as its acronym should tell you, it was from an earlier attempt at the same union-drive when only undergraduates were being targeted. As the campaign shifted, so did the nature of the organization.
To not do everything within our power to get out word on the vote would have been a poor strategic choice on our part: winning accreditation requires an absolute majority of all eligible voters to vote in favour. Every non-vote – i.e., every person who was not aware of the vote – counted against us. We agree it is absolutely vital to contact every last member of the new bargaining unit, but we must wait on McGill to provide us such a list before we can begin to do it.
I hope this helps to clarify things. AMUSE is currently in the process of structuring itself and we need bargaining unit members to get involved! If anyone has any time or if they have any questions, they should be encouraged to send us an email at [email protected]