Closed-Circuit Union Meetings

Good day Union Family

Since 2016, Local 110 has been able to host our monthly General Membership Meeting in both Calgary and Edmonton through our Closed-Circuit Polycom system. This has allowed for increased Membership engagement, by allowing Members attending in Calgary to make motions, vote, and ask questions as one meeting.

There were really only two issues that have come up hosting our meeting in this fashion. One, the Polycom system had become outdated and costly to maintain. Two, the Local was still hosting Information Meetings in Red Deer and Fort McMurray to help keep Members informed of the results of the General Membership Meeting.

Fortunately, at the March General Membership Meeting, the last meeting before COVID suspension of all meetings, a motion was made to upgrade and revamp the Local 110 communication system. Now with the Calgary office moving to the new location the final steps in the upgrade are being completed. However, the more interesting point is that as part of this upgrade two mobile communication systems have been added. These systems will allow Local 110, once cleared for General Membership Meetings through the International, to chair the General Membership Meeting from Edmonton and at the same time have the Membership attending and participating in the meeting from Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray.

The original plan was, similar to when Calgary started participating online, information meetings would continue for a short time to help Members during the transition. This was supposed to happen until December 2020. Obviously due to COVID this has not been able to be rolled out as originally planned. Further communication will be provided once there is clearance from the International to resume the regular General Membership Meeting schedule.

I have had a number of calls asking why with the advancements in online communication the Local is not looking at allowing the Membership log into General Membership Meetings from home using systems like Google Meets, Zoom, etc. The only reason that the Local will not be doing this is in short control. There is no ability for the Local to control where the information is going if anyone can log into the meeting. There could be nonmembers logging into the meeting or just sitting in with a Member who is in the meeting. There is also no way of controlling people recording the meeting. This has come up as an issue with Local 110 in the past, the meetings and what is said in them is for the Membership not to be downloaded to social media. As well controlling the cross talk, questions, background noise, etc. would be almost impossible making the entire meeting futile.

Hopefully, I have answered a few questions and provided our Members something to look forward to when General Meetings resume. There will also be discussion with the Local 110 Executive Board at the next meeting to set a date and time for the next Town Hall Zoom meeting for Local 110.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager