By-Law Change Ratification Vote on March 24

Hello Members,

USW Local 1944’s first By-Law Ratification Vote since 2017 is occurring by electronic ballot on Thursday, March 24, from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm Pacific Time, and all members in good standing of the Local are entitled to vote.

The Local 1944 By-Laws are the set of rules that determine the structure and basic functioning of the Local. The process for changing these By-Laws is that the Local Union Delegated Meeting (a gathering of Unit-elected Delegates from across the country) must approve a motion to amend the By-Laws by a majority vote, and then that same motion must be approved in a ratification vote of the Local membership by a two-thirds majority.

In December, the Local Union Delegated Meeting approved by way of a super majority (more than 75%), two proposed By-Law changes; and they are endorsed unanimously by your Executive Board.

By-Law Change Proposal #1 seeks to amend the By-Laws so that the President of the Local would be headquartered out of the Local office closest to their residence, instead of the status-quo which says that they must be headquartered in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. However, the President would need to work in the Lower Mainland no less than two weeks per quarter.

Some of the major reasons for this proposed change are:

  1. To provide greater equity for members outside the Lower Mainland of BC, since they would now have fewer barriers to having someone from their area be able to be elected to the top position of the Local, since it is unrealistic to expect all candidates to be willing to move their families to the Lower Mainland for a 3-year term.

  2. To give the membership the broadest possible pool of candidates to choose from for selecting the Local President, so that we can choose the most qualified person for the job without limiting the pool to a smaller subset of activists in a certain area.

  3. In practice, we’ve seen our Officers leading the Local for the past three years from outside the Lower Mainland, often virtually although not exclusively; and the Local has been workingvery well. The effectiveness of remote work technology, as COVID in particular has shown, is increasingly making geographic headquarters less relevant just as we have seen in our workplaces.

  4. As a National Local, we represent members in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, and have Local offices located in each of these geographic regions.

By-Law Change Proposal #2 seeks to change the By-Laws so that the Unit Membership count that determines how many Delegates a Unit is entitled to send to the Local Union Delegated Meeting would now occur four months prior to the LUDM, rather the status quo whereby it occurs on the November 1st prior to the LUDM. LUDMs used to occur in the spring only, which made using a November 1st count date reasonable, but now LUDMs can occur at any time of year.

Please be on the lookout for your Voting Card with your own individual PIN printed on it. Please note that the By-Law Change Ratification Voting Cards that were mailed to you state that voting will conclude at 5:00pm Pacific Time but this is incorrect. We are mailing any members that we don’t have email addresses for to correct this information. The correct balloting date/time is March 24, from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm Pacific Time.

The full By-Law Change proposal language can be found here:

We encourage each member to support the decision of the LUDM by voting in support of these By-Law changes.

In Solidarity,

USW Local 1944