NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
September 3, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
Contact: NMB Public Information Line — (202) 692-5050
Re: NMB Electronic Voting Notice
Washington, DC – The NMB is announcing that elections will be conducted by mail-in ballot for a period of time as the agency transitions to a new electronic voting system. The current electronic voting contract expires in September 2021 with no possibility for extension. NMB’s recent solicitation for this contract resulted in no bids. Therefore, the agency is initiating a process to build a comparable electronic voting system internally.
As part of the ongoing federal government cybersecurity evaluation process, all agency IT systems in use are examined to ensure compliance with federal standards. NMB is committed to compliance with federal information security requirements. Pursuant to this evaluation process, the NMB requested certain IT information from its electronic voting contractor. Due to the failure of the contractor to provide the requested information during this past year, the NMB has decided to stop operating elections under the existing contract, which expires in September 2021.
Effective immediately, NMB will hold elections by a secure mail-in ballot process, as provided for in NMB’s Representation Manual and has been done in many past NMB elections. The Board will post sample mail ballots and instructions on its website (www.nmb.gov) under Representation.
The Board shares a unified commitment to return to internet voting as soon as possible. Electronic voting has been used in hundreds of past NMB elections where thousands of rail and air employees freely determined their chosen representatives or decided to end representation and deal directly with their employer. The Board also shares a commitment to build a new safe and secure electronic voting system that totally complies with all federal security standards.
The unique process of internet voting is uniquely well-suited to employee groups covered by the Railway Labor Act – those working in the rail and air industries – due to the travel-based nature of their work in many cases. Additionally, the RLA requires groups of employees to organize in crafts or classes on a system-wide basis and, therefore employee groups frequently cover large geographic territory.
Mail-in ballots have been used historically at NMB. All parties involved in elections will receive detailed instructions and guidance from the NMB Office of Legal Affairs regarding mail in ballot participation.
The National Mediation Board (NMB) is an independent agency created by the Railway Labor Act, which governs labor management relations in the railroad and airline industries. To avoid serious disruptions to the Nation’s economy and protect the public interest, the Act imposes on carriers and their employees the duty of settling disputes through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. The NMB, headed by three Presidential appointees, has as its chief statutory responsibilities: (1) mediation of collective bargaining disputes; (2) determination of employee representation for collective bargaining processes; and (3) administration of a grievance arbitration system.
Contact: NMB Public Information Line: 202-692-5050
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