At APS bi-annual National Executive Committee meeting, the poll results on the perception survey of the members towards their Union were unveiled. It took place at one of the two face-to-face compulsory meetings where APS Officers of the National Executive Committee have to meet in person to fulfill their responsibilities. The other meetings are usually held by teleconference. It is Dominique Barrette, APS National Secretary and responsible for this project since the beginning, who presented to the attendees the results of this consultation conducted between February 27 and March 16, 2018. It was a new initiative endorsed by the executive as a result of a proposal formulated by Dominique whose professional specialty correlates with the same area of expertise. Therefore, with full knowledge of the facts, she reported the polling results by highlighting the most significant aspects of this consultation in which participated 42% of the members.
Active Participation of the Members
The survey was directed to all APS members and called for the participation on a voluntary basis. Both voting and non-voting members were solicited which amounts to approximately 800 participants. The external firm Ad Hoc was delegated to invite the members in participating in the electronic voting process over a period of two weeks. In terms of response rate, 42% of the total solicited members completed the survey which ensures a sufficient participation rate to guarantee the accuracy of the results. The content of the survey focused on measuring the individual member’s point of view vis-à-vis their union by polling their level of satisfaction as much as their evaluation of the actions taken to serve their needs efficiently. The survey also covered the knowledge of the members with respect to the various components of their union structure and its contribution to their working conditions. Overall, there were about fifty questions including the participants’ demographic data.
A Positive Image
Generally, the survey presents a rather positive view from the members towards the union. Three questions referred to the global perception of the union.
The crucial question which addressed it directly « Overall, I am satisfied with the union, » resulted in a high satisfaction level as high of 68% in favoring a positive view from the members towards their union. Furthermore, on the question which dealt with the importance for members to be represented by a union in their professional life also resulted in a positive score, in this case, 67%. Finally, in regards to the relevance of the actions taken by their union to defend all its members’ interests, a percentage of 78% of the respondents certifies that the union indeed defends their interests with the employer.
Areas of Improvements
Now for the less flattering aspects of the survey results, they can be summed up by weaknesses in communication. This will guide the executive committee in concentrating on an action path for improvement. Only 41% knew the identity of the union representative closest to their work environment. This leads to bringing about a remedial action the Executive Committee will not hesitate to undertake. Likewise, 74% of the members would appreciate that the union communicates with the members more often. Again, the executive committee understands the message clearly and improvements are imminent, but it is necessary to make the proper improvements. As an example, a few years ago an awareness campaign on this issue was launched with a weekly column on our website entitled « The question of the week ». Communications pertaining to topics related to working conditions were forwarded to the members’ personal mail every week. The project had to be abandoned as the result of negative reactions. Finally, feedback which surprised more than a few; 70% of the members wish to see APS getting more involved in public campaigns involving the Corporation. It is a significant change of orientation since APS always maintained a discretion policy towards this type of communication. Despite the new costs, the switch in orientation will be taken into consideration since APS has always invested only in the direct defense of the interests of its members.
So, this first incursion in the scientific measures of the members’ perception towards the union representing them, uncovered revealing results. The members are widely favorable with the group of their peers representing them at the executive level, but they wish for changes especially regarding communication. The executive officers took due note and in the next months, they will implement the required changes. It is imperative to thank the one who initiated this course of action, Dominique Barrette, APS National Secretary who launches a new approach within the union. It is an unprecedented measure, along with the same lines as building the union demands for the negotiation of the collective agreement to start with scientific polls with the voting members. APS adheres to its values based on the individual will of the members. The use of the scientific polls ensures the best consultation source for the decision makers of the union. APS hopes to continue in the interest of the democratization of its union activities.
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