The Facts About the Special Bulletin and Response Card:
For the facts about the bulletin and response card, please read the following letter from SAG NED Doug Allen to the National Board of Directors and National Board Alternates And, continue to share your opinion by sending in your postage paid response card. Your involvement and opinions are critical to the Guild's success in negotiations. And, as you know, the identities of respondents are kept confidential. In fact, your response card even includes the following assurance: "The confidentiality of your response will be maintained." If you have questions or comments, be sure to email the Guild at email@example.com
September 5, 2008
Dear National Board Members and National Board Alternates:
Some Board members have asked about the response card that accompanied the recent negotiations newsletter.
The poll using the response card is not a ballot election or a ratification or referendum vote. It is intended to be a sampling of member views on the AMPTP proposal in the TV/Theatrical contract negotiations, a sampling that will help inform me and the Negotiating Committee. The response cards are received by Integrity Voting Systems and are scanned to determine that they are authentic. Then Integrity Voting Systems will tabulate the results of the poll.
The sample response card reviewed by the National Board at the meeting on August 21, 2008 contained a reference to a "unique bar code" to prevent fraudulent reproduction of the poll response card, so the Board was aware of this component of the poll at the time of its review. (The actual language on the card distributed at that meeting was as follows, "This postcard includes a unique bar code to ensure that only active members in good standing participate in this poll.")
The bar code on the card is unique to the individual member to whom the newsletter was sent. This was done for two reasons. One reason, as mentioned, was to make sure only one card would be returned and counted per individual member, preventing anyone from skewing the results of the poll by reproducing the cards in large numbers and returning them filled in. Another reason for the unique bar code was to permit demographic analysis of the response to determine how representative the response is. If the response is statistically similar, for example, to the distribution of membership by branch/division, it is more reliable as an expression of overall membership sentiment. We will also be able to analyze the results by earnings under the contract. This information will be shared with the Negotiating Committee. All demographic analysis will be done in the aggregate. Any reports generated will not contain any information by name or by which option an individual member chose on the response card or even by which individuals sent a card back.
I have instructed Michelle Bennett to make sure that the name of any responding member is to be kept confidential and is not to be used for any purpose. My instructions to that effect will not be changed without further authority from the National Board.
Being able to tie each response card to an individual member was necessary for the reasons stated above. Neither I nor the Negotiating Committee, however, has any reason to know whether a particular member responded or which of the two options he or she chose. That information will not be disclosed.
We promised the membership that if they responded, their identities would be kept confidential and we will keep that commitment. To make that promise clear, I added the following language to the postcard before printing, "The confidentiality of your response will be maintained." If you have not already done so, I encourage you to read the newsletter carefully and to fill out and send in the response card. Please encourage your fellow members to do the same.
National Executive Director