The third ratification vote regarding the proposed union contract between the Washington Federation of State Employees and Washington State University was completed Wednesday evening, Dec. 8. Results varied among each of the seven bargaining units, according to the WFSE website, http://www.wfse.org.

Accepting the contract:

* Bargaining Unit 1, statewide cooperative-research center unit, 38-10

* Bargaining Unit 11, WSU College of Nursing based in Spokane and Yakima, 26-5

* Bargaining Unit 5, library, 19-15

* Bargaining Unit 2, services supervisors, 4-3

Rejecting the contract:

* Bargaining Unit 3, skilled trades, 80-97

* Bargaining Unit 10, administrative assistants, 0-8;

and supervisors, 9-22

* Bargaining Unit 2, services, 86-103

* Bargaining Unit 9, office, administrative and clerical, 31-192

Total tally:

The WFSE represents approximately 1,300 classified staff at WSU — about 200 are dues-paying members. Here is a comparison of the tallies from the last three elections:

* Sept. 29 — 827 participated, 426-401 to reject. Margin 25.
* Oct. 20-21 — 842 participated, 502-342 to reject. Margin 160.
* Dec. 1-8 — 730 classified staff participated, 437-293 to reject. Margin 144.


Unit by unit approval uncertain
Regarding the third election, WFSE, http://www.wfse.org, stated that individual bargaining units that approve the proposed agreement will be covered by the contract and will receive pay raises in 2005 and 2006. Those bargaining units that reject the contract “would not get the pay (raises) or other provisions in the contract.”

WSU Administrators said they saw two potential concerns, which they have been investigating:

• First, it is unknown whether approval of the proposed contract — by individual bargaining units or by all seven bargaining units — will ensure that those people covered by the agreement will receive the proposed pay raises or benefits, because the contract was not approved and submitted to the state in time to meet an Oct. 1 deadline.

RCW 41.80.010 (3) states: “The governor shall submit a request for funds necessary to implement the compensation and fringe benefits provisions in the master collective bargaining agreement or for legislation necessary to implement the agreement. Requests for funds necessary to implement the provisions of bargaining agreements shall not be submitted to the Legislature by the governor unless such requests have been submitted to the director of the office of financial management by October 1, prior to the legislative session at which the requests are to be considered.”

• Second, it was mutually agreed by both the WFSE and WSU that “all bargaining units would be covered by one bargaining agreement,” Glenn Frye, WSU labor relations officer said. “Neither side can unilaterally change any provision in the proposed contract,” Frye said. “It requires a mutual agreement from both sides.”

If you have any questions regarding the election, go to the WFSE website at http://www.wfse.org or call the state WFSE office at 1-800-562-6002.