The Debate Over In-Person Allocation Votes
Brothers and Sisters,
We all recently voted on wage allocations for our respective contracts. The Benefits Committees, who are all ‘rank and file’ members of the respective contracts, discussed wages and fringe benefits but mostly focused on health care cost increases. All of the committees recommended that some portion of their allocation go to the health plan.
Then, the question of whether to have an in-person meeting was brought up. Should we vote in-person or vote by e-mail? The in-person meetings are ‘old school’ and do allow for vigorous debate. The downside is hardly anyone attends. So then, a small group of members votes to determine the future for all.
Recently, the Local has used a new alternative voting method: e-mail balloting. It lacks vigorous debate, but it gives more members an opportunity to participate. The e-mail balloting is very secure, and it doesn’t cost nearly as much as renting a 1,000-person-seat hall, paying for parking or paying for return postage.
The most important factor here is that more members have the opportunity to vote. So far, with this new system, our members have turned out to vote in greater numbers. That gives me peace of mind, and it should give you members comfort as well. Voting by e-mail ballot also allows members to call and ask questions and get answers before they vote. An in-person meeting is only for a few hours and a member’s question may never get asked or answered.
This Administration is doing its best to take good care of its members. Hopefully, all our Brothers and Sisters see it that way as well. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask any of our Agents or call any of our offices.
Gaylord R “Rusty” Roten
President IBEW Local 11