Greg Devereux, WFSE’s executive director, is slated to meet with WSU administrators on Jan. 11 in Pullman to discuss what to do as a result of the third WFSE ratification vote. The last time WFSE representatives and WSU administrators met was Sept. 27, when the two sides agreed on the currently proposed contract.

The union, in its third vote on the contract, divided all classified staff to be covered by the proposed agreement into their individual bargaining units. It also designated supervisors within two of those bargaining units and had them vote separately. Three units covering 192 employees approved the proposed agreement, and four units covering 1,010 employees rejected it. Supervisors in one of the units approved the contract and supervisors in another unit rejected it.

The proposed contract calls for an 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, if funded by the Legislature.

Preceding the third election, WFSE, via its website at http://www.wfse.org, stated that individual bargaining units that approved the proposed agreement would be covered by the contract and would receive pay raises in 2005 and 2006. Those bargaining units that rejected the contract “would not get the pay (raises) or other provisions in the contract.”

The governor’s proposed budget submitted on Dec. 16 he did not include a pay raise for any employees in WFSE bargaining units at WSU.

Whether the contract can be approved on a bargaining-unit-by-bargaining-unit basis is likely to be a topic of discussion in the upcoming meeting. The governor’s decision not to include funding for pay raises for employees in any WFSE bargaining units at WSU will probably be another.

Glenn Frye, WSU labor relations officer noted that “the contract negotiated by WFSE and WSU covers all employees in WSU bargaining units represented by WFSE, not just those in some bargaining units.” He also noted that the reason given by the state Office of Financial Management for not including WSU employees represented by the WFSE in the governor’s budget is that the statutory deadline of Oct. 1 for submission of a ratified contract to the governor was not met.

“Currently, we don’t have a lot of detail on what the union wants to discuss at the Jan. 11 meeting. I’m sure it will have something to do with the results of the last vote. At this point, all we can do is wait and see what they have to say and go from there,” said Frye.

WFSE representatives were not available for comment.