Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020

Ballot arrangements: Your questions answered

 

20th June 2017

All IMPACT members who are directly affected by the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 are entitled to vote on the new proposals. If you work in the public service or a non-commercial semi-state organisation you are probably entitled to vote. Members in ‘section 38’ voluntary and community organisations are also eligible to vote.

Ballot papers are being despatched to IMPACT branches (Tuesday 20th June). Secret ballots will be conducted by IMPACT branches over the next four weeks. Some branches conduct postal ballots, while others ballot members in the workplace. In either case, each paid-up member who is eligible to vote gets an individual ballot paper and can cast a secret ballot.

IMPACT’s elected Central Executive Committee has recommended that members vote to ACCEPT the proposals. IMPACT is urging all eligible members to make themselves familiar with the contents of the proposed agreement – and then to use their vote.

The deadline for voting (or returning your ballot paper if your branch is conducting a postal ballot) is 12 noon on FRIDAY 14th JULY 2017.

In the meantime, a number of workplace meetings are being organised across the country. As they become available, details of these meetings will be posted on our website. You can also read the full package of proposals HERE and read our ‘frequently asked questions’ HERE.

All the results from IMPACT branches will be aggregated to determine the national outcome of the IMPACT ballot. That outcome will determine IMPACT’s vote at a meeting of the ICTU Public Services Committee which, in turn, will determine the overall public service union position on whether the proposals are accepted or rejected.

When will I receive my ballot paper?

Individual IMPACT branches are conducting the ballot. They will receive ballot papers early this week and will then distribute them to members. Some branches conduct postal ballots while others undertake balloting in the workplace. You should contact your branch secretary or local IMPACT rep for more information on the local arrangements.

What is the deadline for casting my vote?

Please clearly mark the box of your choice and return your ballot paper to your branch secretary (or directly to IMPACT if you have received a pre-paid envelope with this ballot paper) to arrive not later than 12 noon on Friday 14th July 2017.

Who can vote?

IMPACT members who are ‘in benefit’ (ie, paying their union subscription) and working in an employment that’s covered by the proposed agreement. Broadly speaking, if you pay the so-called ‘pension levy’ (or used to pay it in your current post) you are probably eligible to vote.

Those being balloted include: IMPACT members in the civil service, employees of the HSE and related bodies, voluntary hospitals, employees of local authorities and regional authorities, North-South bodies, employees of VECs, institutes of technology, statutory and non-statutory state agencies funded by the exchequer, special needs assistants employed by the Department of Education, and members working in ‘Section 38’ voluntary bodies. School secretaries directly employed by the Department of Education under the 1978 scheme will be balloted. Other school secretaries will not.

What if I’m on long-term leave?

Eligible IMPACT members on leave (including sick, annual, compassionate, maternity, adoptive, parental, care or other long-term leave) and staff on secondment are entitled to vote. If you think you are eligible to vote and have not received a ballot paper, you should contact your local IMPACT branch in the first instance.

What if I work abroad?

Eligible IMPACT members serving abroad are entitled to vote. If you think you are eligible to vote and have not received a ballot paper, you should contact your local IMPACT branch in the first instance.

What if I’m a retired member?

Retired members are not eligible to vote. This is because they are not directly affected by the proposals.

What if I’ve recently joined IMPACT?

You are only eligible to vote if your application to join the union was received in IMPACT head office before Tuesday 4th July. Members whose applications arrived in head office after that date are not entitled to receive a ballot paper.

What if I lose my ballot paper?

Once you have been given a ballot paper you cannot be given another. This is because issuing duplicate ballot papers could leave the result of the ballot open to challenge.

What if I don’t receive a ballot paper?

If you think you are eligible to vote and you don’t receive a ballot paper or an opportunity to vote in a workplace ballot, you should contact your branch secretary or local IMPACT representative in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the response you should phone (Roisin) 01-817-1544 or (Bernie) 01-828-7819 or email our ballot helpdesk. Complaints about the non-receipt of ballot papers must be received in writing or by email no later than 4pm on Friday 30th June. This deadline is to allow time to check membership details and establish whether a ballot paper has already been issued.

In the case of postal votes, duplicate ballot papers will not be issued if a ballot paper has already been issued to a member’s last known address (unless the original ballot is returned to the union by An Post). This is because issuing duplicate ballot papers could leave the result of the ballot open to challenge.

When will I know the outcome?

All IMPACT branches have to return their result to the centre by noon on Monday 17th July 2017. The branch results will then be collated into a final national aggregate vote, which will determine the union’s position. This will be posted on the IMPACT website on the morning of Tuesday 18th July 2017 at the latest. The website will also carry the ballot results from all branches that have balloted members.

Need to print this information to share with work colleagues?

Here’s a PDF with all of the information above, it’ll be a lot less hassle to print and share.