- Election Campaigns
- Election Complaints Process
- Membership Lists
- Biographical Sketches and Photographs: Instructions
- ‘Do Not Contact’ List
- Use of Social Media
- Frequently Asked Questions
- All members, candidates and their supporters participating in election campaign activities are required to review the contents of this document to understand their responsibilities.
- A candidate’s signature on their respective nomination form certifies that they have read, understand and will abide by PIPSC By-Laws, Policies and the election campaign administrative procedures detailed in this document.
- Electronic links are references that open PIPSC By-Laws and Policies. They are highlighted text and appear throughout this document, in the Notice of Elections/Call for Nominations and in the Nomination Form. ‘Click’ on highlighted text to open a reference.
- The references will provide you with the most current and relevant information. If text included in this document varies from text included in a reference, then the text included in a reference to the PIPSC By-Laws and Policies shall prevail.
- If you are unable to follow a link to open a reference or if the link opens the wrong reference, then please contact Julie Gagnon (firstname.lastname@example.org), PIPSC Staff Resource to the Elections Committee, for assistance.
1. Election Campaigns
A. By-Law 22.4 Election Campaigns - Candidates, supporters and other members involved in election activities will be expected to observe accepted standards of conduct through an election campaign, both in verbal and written communications.
B. Institute Facilities and Resources - Except as hereinafter specifically provided or approved by the Elections Committee, neither candidates for Institute office nor those acting on behalf of a candidate nor other members involved in election activities, may use Institute funds, resources, facilities, letterhead or logo on behalf of the candidates. Neither candidates nor those acting on behalf of a candidate may in any way suggest the preference or support of any Institute body, the Institute as a corporate body or its employees for any candidate.
C. Accepted Uses - The following are accepted uses of Institute resources:
i. Presidential and Vice-Presidential speeches at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Institute as specified in the procedures provided by the Elections Committee;
ii. Distribution of campaign material in the AGM meeting room provided it does not interrupt or delay the meeting;
iii. Wearing of PIPSC pins while campaigning;
iv. Use of pictures of non-election events where the PIPSC logo is present;
v. Use of PIPSC cell phone in the event a candidate already has one assigned to him/her for the position he/she presently holds.
D. Staff Resources - Candidates, those acting on behalf of candidates and other members involved in elections activities, shall not involve Institute staff in any election activity.
E. Problems have arisen in the past. Some examples of unacceptable activities:
i. Use of Institute funds;
ii. Use of Institute resources and facilities such as letterhead, envelopes, business cards, photocopiers and meeting rooms, for campaign purposes;
iii. Use of a logo sufficiently like the Institute logo as to imply support;
iv. Campaigning on Public Service premises during working hours to solicit support from PIPSC members without the prior written authorization from a Manager of the workplace they wish to visit;
v. Placing campaign literature in Institute offices unless approved by the Elections Committee.
F. The Elections Committee will neither regulate nor facilitate ‘slates’ of candidates. Therefore, it will not be possible to publish the name of a ‘slate’ of candidates alongside a candidate’s name on the election ballots.
G. PIPSC Meetings:
i. While members do not officially become candidates until the National Elections Committee has posted the list of candidates, it is likely that some election activity will occur prior to this.
ii. It is recognized that elected officials and stewards still need to do their job during election campaigns. This includes attending meetings when invited. When attending meetings, the elected officials and stewards should not be campaigning. Examples of meetings would include Regional and Steward Councils, Lunch & Learns, Branch, Group and Sub-Group meetings.
iii. Responsibility of the PIPSC Event Organizers:
1. To be as fair as possible to all, event organizers shall determine whether any election/campaigning activity will be allowed.
2. If the decision is that election campaigning is allowed, the organizers must:
a. Determine exactly what election activity will be allowed (ex. speeches, handout of material, table set up for material);
b. Determine where the activity will be allowed to take place (ex. inside or outside of the meeting room);
c. Include clear and concise information relating to bullets (a) and (b) in the meeting notice;
d. Have the notice of meeting placed into the Calendar of Activities by their staff resource;
e. Ensure that the same opportunity is granted to all candidates / supporters so that there is no unfair advantage for one candidate over another;
f. Inform the Elections Committee that an invitation has been sent to the candidates inviting them to the meeting.
3. If the notice of meeting does not specify whether election campaigning will be allowed, it will be interpreted as though it is not allowed.
iv. Responsibility of the Candidates / Supporters:
1. Candidates are responsible to ensure that meeting organizers have met their responsibilities outlined in (g) (iii) (2) (a) through (f), prior to campaigning at any meeting.
2. Candidates, potential candidates and their supporters are responsible for:
a. Keeping track of PIPSC meetings by referring to the ‘Calendar of Activities’
b. If campaigning is allowed, arranging for their attendance or for distribution of any campaign material by advising the constituent body or PIPSC event organizer so that appropriate time and space can be provided.
3. Candidates may be held responsible for the actions of their supporters, therefore they should be aware of what their supporters are doing.
4. Candidates and their supporters should refrain from placing banners, posters and all/any other campaign materials in public areas of the AGM host hotel.
5. Candidates and their supporters should refrain from placing campaign literature on PIPSC tables at the AGM unless approved by the Elections Committee.
6. Distribution of campaign material in the AGM meeting room itself is allowed provided it does not interrupt or delay the meeting.
2. Election Complaints Process
a. By-Law 17.3.2 states that the Elections Committee is responsible for the conduct of elections and must fully investigate and rule on the propriety of any election activity undertaken by a candidate, supporter or other Institute members. Corrective actions include but are not limited to declaring the election, or any candidacy to be null and void, as well as removing the right to vote from a member.
b. Members wishing to file an election related complaint must follow the official complaint process to have their complaint recognized.
3. Membership Lists
a. Any requests for member information pursuant to the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (CNPCA) must be made in accordance with the Institute's ‘Membership List Policy’.
b. In no cases will members' email addresses be provided.
c. Candidates are to refrain from contacting members by phone or email at their place of work unless they receive prior permission from those members and proof would need to be provided to the Elections Committee prior to the emails being sent.
d. During an investigation, resulting from an official complaint process about a candidate using PIPSC membership lists, the respondent must be able to demonstrate that they followed the policy. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
4. Biographical Sketches and Photographs: Instructions
a. The nomination form, signature form(s), biographical sketch (optional) and mandatory photograph must be received not later than August 27, 2021 at 5:00 PM Ottawa Time. Material received after this deadline will not be accepted.
b. It is the Candidate’s responsibility to review his/her biographical sketch before it is submitted. Once submitted, biographical sketches will not be changed, unless the change was requested by the Elections Committee.
c. Biographical Sketches must not contain any statements that are false, misleading, or unsubstantiated about a candidate’s activities with PIPSC.
d. Biographical Sketches must not contain any statements that are false, misleading, or unsubstantiated in their representation of a fellow candidate, PIPSC or any of its Constituent Bodies, stewards, employees, executive members or other representatives.
e. If an investigation, resulting from an official complaint process, reveals a statement to be false or misleading, then that new information will be published to the membership on the PIPSC website.
f. Biographical sketches may include names of endorsers, but not their title or position, and only as agreed to in writing by those named.
g. Reference to only one website address is allowed. A link will be created to the candidate’s respective site. Candidate websites will not be reviewed by the Elections Committee, but the Elections Committee will investigate all official complaints received regarding these websites. Candidates are expected to ensure that their websites conform to the By-Laws and all election policies and administrative procedures. The letters ‘PIPSC’ are not permitted in the website URL.
h. PIPSC elections have a history of candidates publicly supporting other candidates running for a different office in the same election but should not use their elected title in doing so. The Elections Committee continues to support such practices. It is permissible for candidates to support one another in their respective written or video biographical sketch. Candidates can/could indicate support for one or more – as they wish. Such support will be included in the respective written word count or video time limits.
i. The Elections Committee will accept one (1) written and one (1) video biographical sketch per candidate. It is the candidates’ choice whether or not to submit both versions.
i. Written Biographical Sketch:
1. Candidates may provide one (1) written biographical sketch in "Word" Format and in the official language of their choice. PIPSC translators will generate the biographical sketch in the other official language. The written biographical sketch shall not be bilingual.
2. The biographical sketch will contain no more than four hundred (400) words if submitted in English and no more than four hundred and fifty (450) words if submitted in French (as determined by the software in use by the Institute at the time). Biographical sketches will be truncated once the maximum number of words is reached.
3. The position sought, name and membership status (Regular or Retired Member) of each candidate shall precede the biographical sketch but shall not be included in the word count.
ii. Video Biographical Sketch:
1. Candidates may provide one (1) video biographical sketch in either official language or one (1) bilingual video biographical sketch.
2. At the time when candidates submit their nomination documents they will provide a downloadable link to their video biographical sketch using Google Drive.
3. PIPSC Informatics will arrange for transcripts to be produced and translated.
4. PIPSC Informatics will arrange for subtitles.
5. Each video biographical sketch must not be longer than two (2) minutes. If the video is longer than two (2) minutes in duration, then it will be truncated at the two-minute mark.
6. Candidates must begin their video by stating the position that they are seeking, their name and their membership status (Regular or Retired Member).
7. Candidates are responsible for the quality of the video and audio. There are many tutorial videos available on-line which provide tips on producing a home video.
8. Use your preferred recording method: video camera, web camera or cell phone camera (use landscape if using a cell phone and not upright).
9. Speak clearly.
10. The video biographical sketches will be available via the PIPSC website.
j. Candidates are asked to submit a separate file containing their photograph in JPEG or TIFF format (head and shoulders and in high resolution) which will be posted to the website and/or used to display on a screen at the AGM when results are presented. Photos must not be included directly into a written biographical sketch and must be received with the nomination package.
k. The biographical sketch and photograph will be posted on the Institute’s website.
a. Endorsements by the Institute and its Constituent Bodies - The Institute and its constituent bodies shall not endorse candidates in an election.
b. Endorsements by Stewards and other Institute Members - Stewards, other Regular Members, and Retired Members may express support for a candidate in an election. Any statement of support or endorsement shall not contain an Institute or constituent body logo, and shall contain the following disclaimer:
i. “This endorsement of candidate(s) in no way implies any endorsement of the candidate(s) by any Institute body, the Institute as a corporate body, or by the employees of the Institute.”
c. The Elections Committee believes that the President of a constituent body speaks on behalf of the constituent body whether the rest of the Executive was consulted or not. An endorsement from any constituent body may result in the entire Executive losing their right to vote.
d. Examples of acceptable endorsements:
i. “I endorse Joe Smith for Vice President and encourage all engineers to vote for Joe. This endorsement of candidate(s) in no way implies any endorsement of the candidate(s) by any Institute body, the Institute as a corporate body, or by the employees of the Institute.” Signed Jane Doe P. Eng.
ii. "I endorse Joe Smith for Vice President and encourage all engineers to vote for Joe. This endorsement of candidate(s) in no way implies any endorsement of the candidate(s) by any Institute body, the Institute as a corporate body, or by the employees of the Institute.” Signed Jane Doe P. Eng., Steward, Vancouver Office NAV CANADA
e. Examples of unacceptable endorsements:
i. “I endorse Joe Smith for Vice President and encourage all engineers to vote for Joe. This endorsement of candidate(s) in no way implies any endorsement of the candidate(s) by any Institute body, the Institute as a corporate body, or by the employees of the Institute. Signed Jane Doe P. Eng. President Vancouver NR Sub-Group
ii. “The Vancouver NR Sub-Group endorses Joe Smith for Vice President and encourages all members to vote for Joe. This endorsement of candidate(s) in no way implies any endorsement of the candidate(s) by any Institute body, the Institute as a corporate body, or by the employees of the Institute.”
6. “Do Not Contact” List
a. The Institute will create and maintain a “do not contact” list of member email addresses. Any member unwilling to receive election campaign material at a specific email address(es) shall notify the Executive Secretary at: email@example.com. Candidates and those acting on behalf of a candidate shall not send election material to any email address contained on the “do not contact” list.
b. Members on the “do not contact” list will receive no campaign literature of any kind but will continue to receive notices or other information from the Elections Committee, such as biographical sketches accompanying the ballots.
c. Members on the “do not contact” list will continue to receive non-election related information they would normally receive from the Institute.
d. Members may place their name on the “do not contact” list at any time. A member's name will remain on the list until a request is made by the member to remove it.
7. Use of Social Media
a. All existing PIPSC By-Laws, Regulations and Policies relating to ethics and professional behaviour expected from an Institute member are applicable to the users of social media. It is extremely important for all to maintain professional ethics during election campaign periods.
b. The Institute expects all members to engage respectfully in social media exchanges and conduct themselves in accordance with the Institute’s Communications Policy. Please refer to the policy in detail.
c. The creation of a social media account that may reasonably be perceived as being operated by or on behalf of the Institute is prohibited unless otherwise explicitly authorized by the Institute.
d. The Institute reserves the right to monitor postings made, and request alteration or removal of content posted in relation to its accounts if needed.
e. Misuse of social media platforms can, in certain circumstances, constitute a criminal offence, give rise to legal action against members or the Institute, lead to workplace investigations or discipline, or constitute misconduct as defined in the Institute’s By-Laws.
f. Institute members are free to use social media to exercise their freedom of expression. In doing so, however, they must always be mindful of their obligations to respect others and of their duty of loyalty to their employer.
g. The following is intended to provide candidates, their supporters and all Institute members with an outline on how to best use social media professionally and without violating professional ethics.
i. Extracted directly from the PIPSC policy:
1. Posted content must not violate any laws or encourage or suggest illegal activities;
3. Do not post materials that may be considered racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, defamatory, abusive or threatening, humiliating or belittling;
4. Be honest and open, but be mindful of the impact your contribution might make to people’s perceptions of the Institute;
5. Never disclose sensitive, private or confidential information on social media;
6. Make every effort to ensure the information you are posting is accurate;
7. Do not post, upload, forward or post a link to chain mail, junk mail or facilitate “spamming”;
8. Make use of social media on your own time and with your own resources, not the employer’s;
9. Do not post aggressive, vulgar, violent, obscene or pornographic content;
10. Ensure you have the Institute’s permission before using its proprietary information (logos, slogans, graphic designs, etcetera);
11. Except as authorized by the Institute, do not use social media for the purposes of advertising or solicitation for financial benefits.
ii. Additional direction from the Elections Committee:
1. Always be respectful, polite and considerate when disagreeing with any ideas or proposals from a fellow member whether a candidate or not;
2. Always be guided by professional principles, integrity, objectivity, professional competence, due care and confidentiality;
3. Do not post photos or videos, which could be interpreted as an endorsement by PIPSC;
4. Do not post or engage in discussions on election issues anonymously or use another user’s name;
5. Do not post any internal private and/or personal matters relating to a member;
6. Do not mention your or any other users’ personal coordinates in the body of your postings unless permission is granted;
7. Do not post material that promotes or advertises commercial product or solicit business or financial support for an election campaign;
8. Do not allow any other person, whether a PIPSC member or not, to use your identification.
h. The PIPSC Election Committee expects the highest degree of professional standards and ethical compliance from Institute members and users of social media including during an election campaign. When faced with any question or doubt about infringing on ethical values, then do not post it. Act professionally.
i. Candidates are responsible for actions of their supporters.
j. The Elections Committee will investigate complaints received through an official complaint process. The Elections Committee will refer to the above for guidance during each official complaint investigation.
8. Frequently Asked Questions
a. Is inviting candidates to an Institute Constituent Body meeting considered using Institute funds for elections purposes?
i. Refer to the ‘PIPSC Meetings’ bullet in the ‘Election Campaigns’ section of this document. .
ii. Candidates attending meetings is a long-standing practice of some Institute bodies. If all candidates are given the same opportunity to attend and speak, it would be considered acceptable.
iii. You must give all candidates the opportunity but are not required to facilitate travel expenses. If a candidate is in Ottawa and the meeting is in BC, it would the candidate’s decision on whether to attend or not.
iv. Institute funds shall not be used for elections/campaigning purposes. Constituent bodies shall not pay the expenses of any candidate.
b. Do the President, Vice President and Regional Directors not have an unfair advantage by attending Institute body meetings during an election campaign?
i. The President, Vice President and Regional Directors still have a job to do and that includes attending Institute body meetings. They are there because of their position and not as candidates and should not campaign unless all other candidates are given the same opportunity to attend and campaign at the meeting.
c. Can candidates use the Steward list on the PIPSC Web Site for election purposes?
i. Membership lists can only be used in accordance with the Membership List Policy.
ii. In no cases will email addresses be provided.
iii. Contact information contained on the PIPSC website is provided for the sole purposes of allowing members to conduct Institute business or to contact their Institute Representatives for employment related problems or questions.
iv. Some members explicitly choose to not be contacted. Candidates will be sent a "Do Not Contact List" once their nomination has been approved.
d. If a written complaint is filed by one member against another regarding election-related activities, must that complaint remain confidential or can it be made public by the Institute or by one of the parties involved?
i. While no specific PIPSC By-Law, Regulation or Policy prevents a complaint from being made public during an investigation, By-Law 17.3.2 (Conduct of Elections) allows the Elections Committee to determine what constitutes appropriate activities for candidates and their supporters:
1. “The Elections Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of Institute elections for Officers and Directors, other than the AC Director, according to the By-Laws and policies of the Institute and shall adopt such administrative procedures as may be necessary to conduct that election. The Elections Committee shall also
1. scrutinize all candidate biographical sketches for accuracy insofar as is practical, and
2. fully investigate and rule on the propriety of any election activity undertaken by a candidate or those acting on behalf of the candidate. Upon finding such activity to be improper or inappropriate, the Committee shall take such corrective action as it deems necessary”.
ii. In this context, with a view to minimizing “smear campaigns’ and the substantial commitment in time and resources required to investigate these types of complaints, the Elections Committee has decided that they will be kept confidential until an unbiased investigation has been completed, the decision has been communicated to the parties, and the appeal period has expired (forty-eight (48) hours of receipt). Failure on the part of the members involved to act accordingly will be considered “inappropriate election activity”.
e. Can an election candidate distribute campaign material to members at a PIPSC meeting or event?
i. Refer to the ‘Election Campaigns’ section of this document.
f. Are anonymous endorsements allowed?
i. Whereas PIPSC Policy on Election Endorsements prohibits Constituent Bodies from sending out an endorsement; and
ii. Whereas PIPSC Policy does allow individual members to endorse, providing the endorsement includes the following disclaimer: "This endorsement of candidate(s) in no way implies any endorsement of the candidate(s) by any Institute body, the Institute as a corporate body, or by the employees of the Institute." Refer to examples of acceptable and unacceptable endorsements in the “Endorsements” section of this document,
iii. Therefore, the Elections Committee is of the view that an anonymous endorsement is a serious violation of PIPSC Policy and a serious breach of proper conduct in an election. Anonymous endorsements can be used by constituent bodies to circumvent prohibitions against endorsements. Similarly, anonymous endorsements could be used to distribute defamatory statements about candidates. There is simply no place in our election process for anonymous messages about candidates.
iv. The Elections Committee, pursuant to its authority under By-Law 17.3.2, will consider publication of the name(s) of members involved in such inappropriate election activity and will consider declaring a candidacy to be null and void.
g. Are candidates allowed to contact PIPSC members in their workplaces during working hours?
i. Candidates are to refrain from campaigning on Public Service premises during working hours to solicit support from PIPSC members without the prior written authorization from a Manager of the workplace they wish to visit.
ii. If prior written authorization is not provided, candidates are not to enter PIPSC members’ workplaces for campaigning purposes.
iii. Candidates are to refrain from contacting members by phone or email at their place of work unless they receive prior permission from those members.
iv. Some members explicitly choose to not be contacted. Candidates will be sent a “Do Not Contact List” once their nomination has been approved.
v. The rules apply to supporters and all members involved in election activities.
h. Are candidates allowed to use Union bulletin boards in the workplace?
i. Candidates may post their information on union bulletin boards (if they follow any procedures required to do so).
ii. A reminder that all candidates requesting to post campaign material to a union bulletin board must be treated equally.
iii. Candidates are also reminded that they are not to use the PIPSC logo on their campaign material, including posting any business cards.