The Washington Federation of State Employees and Washington State University arrived at a tentative contract agreement on Monday, Sept. 27. 

The next step will be for all employees working in a position covered by a WSU/WFSE contract to vote on ratification of the new contract. The vote will occur 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29. Ratification of the contract requires a majority vote of those individuals who participate in the election. If approved, the new contract will go into effect July 1, 2005.

Major items proposed in the contract include:

* A wage increase in base pay of 3.2 percent effective July 1, 2005, and a 2.0 percent, one-time, lump-sum payment effective July 1, 2006.
* Stabilization of the employee premium share of health care benefits, for the first time since 1995, at 12 percent.
* As a condition of continued employment, all employees working in a covered position  will be required to pay for the added costs of arbitration and contract administration through union membership dues or equivalent fees paid to the union. WFSE dues are currently 1.37% to a maximum of $53.29 per month.
* Continuation of existing job classification and pay system for employees covered by this contract. In short, this means this group will not be switching to the new civil service classification and pay structure, but will maintain the current system.
* Elimination of mandatory performance appraisals.
* Leave accruals and holidays are preserved without change.
* A two-year moratorium on competitive contracting.

Additional information and points of contact are available on the WFSE website http://www.wfse.org, the WFSE Local 1066 website http://www.wfse.org/local1066, and the WSU HRS/Labor Relations website http://www.hrs.wsu.edu.