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It’s never too early to prepare for the ratification vote on your next contract

Collective-Bargaining-American-WayMost WFSE/AFSCME contracts are still in negotiation. But members say in previous years, they felt crunched when it came time to vote on the contract. Sometimes, contracts don’t wrap up until late September – but under the law, all contracts have to be ratified and forwarded to the governor’s budget office by Oct. 1.

So we’re giving you this heads up on what to expect on ratification when your contract wraps up.

Because one of the most important privileges and responsibilities of WFSE/AFSCME members is voting to accept or reject their contracts once a tentative agreement is reached.

Why is this important?

Negotiations on most WFSE/AFSCME contracts are still in progress. These are the 2017-2019 contracts that will take effect July 1, 2017, and include compensation, health care and other important provisions aimed at giving you a voice and respect at work – from provisions on workplace behavior to sick leave to vacation leave to shared leave, overtime, hours of work, seniority and much more.

As usual, it’s expected all contracts will be wrapped up in September – and then each contract will go out for a vote of the members covered by each contract.

Even though most contracts aren’t done yet, ratification is coming.

Many members have asked how that would work.

Here is a summary of the process approved by the union’s Collective Bargaining Committee and Executive Board last year.

Who can vote?

You have to be a member of the union to vote. Bargaining unit members who are WFSE/AFSCME members in good standing by Sept. 1, 2016, will be eligible to vote. Not a member? You can download a membership card at or call any union office.

How will I vote?

Voting will be online. Depending on timing, there may be Contract Information Centers in your area where union staff and leaders can assist you in voting online.

What ratification information can I expect for any tables where a final tentative agreement is reached by Sept. 9?

WFSE/AFSCME members covered by each respective contract that is finished by Sept. 9 will receive a ratification packet that includes: online voting instructions, including log-in information and password; a summary of the tentative agreement; and a letter from the respective bargaining team with their recommendation on ratification. All this information and more, including the full tentative agreement, will be available online.

What ratification information can I expect if a final agreement is NOT reached by Sept. 9?

For members covered by contracts that are still in bargaining after Sept. 9, they will get a mailer that gives then information on how they will vote on the contract when it is completed. That mailer will include online voting instructions, including login information and password. It will also explain the status of bargaining – AND THAT THOSE MEMBERS MUST HOLD ONTO THIS VOTING INFORMATION WHEN THEIR CONTRACT IS FINISHED AND IT’S TIME FOR RATIFICATION. Once their contract is finished, the union will inform members in the best possible way, depending on timing. But all of the information, including a summary of the agreement and the tentative agreement articles will be available online.


As each tentative agreement is reached, a brief summary will be emailed to members covered by each respective contract; that will also alert them that more information is coming in the mail and/or will be available online. This bulletin will also be available on the union’s website ( and each team’s respective bargaining page – go to and look for your team’s icon and click on it.