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Equity members vote ‘Yes’ to rule change

25 May 2011

Spring 2011 magazine coverA referendum on a rule change, that would allow Equity to deal with complaints from members that they had been subject to harassment, prejudice or unfair discrimination from a fellow member, has been passed.

“This is a fantastic result for Equity and sends a clear message that we will not tolerate prejudicial behaviour towards our members,” said Equity General Secretary Christine Payne. “We are an inclusive union striving towards equality of opportunity and this rule change underlines this.”

This rule change could only take place after a vote by the whole membership. A total of 3061 votes were cast, with 1906 members voting ‘Yes’ to the rule change and 1150 choosing ‘No’.

A revised rule book is now available to download.

For a more detailed analysis of the vote, see below:

The number of members entitled to vote in the Equity rule-change referendum was 35,802.

A total of 3061 votes were cast as follows: YES - 1906, NO - 1150, SPOILT - 5.

Popularis, which was appointed by Council as Independent Scrutineer for the purposes of the Referendum, has declared that they are satisfied that the arrangements made with respect to the production, storage, distribution, return or other handling of the voting papers used in the election, and the arrangements for the counting of the votes, included all such security arrangements as were reasonably practicable for the purpose of minimising the risk that any unfairness or malpractice might occur.

A number of complaints were received by Popularis regarding the closing date printed on the ballot paper, 6 May 2011, which was not in accordance with the date agreed and publicised by Council, 18 May 2011. The ballot paper was prepared by Equity.  The incorrect date was due to a typographical error which was unfortunately not corrected prior to going to press.

The number of votes cast between 6 and 18 May was 358, which is 11.69% of total votes cast as at 18 May, and 0.99% of membership as a whole. The additional votes increased turnout as at 6 May of 7.55% to 8.55% as at 18 May. The majority for Yes votes as at 6 May was 62.72%. The majority for Yes votes as at 18 May was 62.36%.

Popularis has expressed the view that the additional voting period between 6 and 18 May did not make a material difference to the outcome of the election.

The full report of the referendum from independent scrutineers Popularis is available for members to download.

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