Ratification Vote FAQ

What is the contract ratification vote?

The contract ratification vote is when the members of the union democratically determine whether or not to accept the terms of the agreement that has been tentatively agreed to by the university and the union’s elected bargaining committee. A simple majority of those voting determines the outcome of the vote. However, for the vote to be representative and powerful, it’s critical for a supermajority of ASEs to participate.

What are the terms of the tentative agreement that we’re voting on?

You can read more about the specific terms of the tentative agreement, including full proposed language, here

How did the bargaining committee decide to recommend this agreement to a vote?

Upon receiving the University’s proposal on 6/1, the bargaining committee referred it out to a straw poll vote by members, who approved it by a 62-48% margin with over 1,900 people voting.  Nearly 250 members then convened on the Rainier Vista lawn to discuss the offer and whether to accept it. The bargaining committee voted (12-4) to accept the University’s offer and recommend it for ratification vote.

When would the changes in this tentative agreement go into effect?  

The contract would go into effect as soon as it is ratified by UAW members. If a majority of those participating in the vote vote to accept UW’s offer by 5pm on Sunday, the contract would go into effect at that point. Wage increases would take effect on July 1st.

What does the lump sum MOU mean?

The University proposed to pay ASEs with 50% appointments  a single “lump-sum” of $100 per year. The university would disperse this lump-sum payment to ASEs in the first quarter of their appointment each year and the lump-sum payment would be subject to tax.  This amount is approximately the same as the yearly cost of the IMA Bond Fee.

Why would I vote Yes in the contract ratification vote?

The tentative agreement includes improvements to the existing contract, which only go into effect if members vote yes to approve the new contract. For more about some of the arguments in favor of accepting and in favor of rejecting, refer below. 

What happens if the result of the vote is Yes (to ratify the contract)?

If a majority of those voting accept the tentative agreement, the new contract would take effect upon the conclusion of the ratification vote. Wage increases would go into effect on July 1.

What happens if the result of the vote is No (not to ratify the contract)?    

If a majority of voters vote No, the offer from the university would not be approved as a new contract.  We would then return to negotiations and would certainly attempt to reproduce the terms that were offered today; however the likelihood is that we would not reach the same deal without significant additional mobilization. We would continue under the one-year contract extension, which includes most, though not all, provisions of current contract. 

What are arguments in favor of accepting this tentative agreement?

Considerations raised by members on 6/1 include:

  • Operating under an expired collective bargaining agreement means no wage increases on July 1, and, if there is still no agreement reached by fall quarter, loss of building fee waiver ($152/quarter). There have been concerns raised about how these and other potential risks could affect the most vulnerable among us;
  • Accepting the offer enables us to continue to organize, build collective power, and fight for a more equitable university with a contract rather than without one;
  • The contract includes improvements on a number of our equity demands, including jointly-developed harassment trainings, transparency in hourly pay, and movement on 2 of the 4 remaining fees (U-PASS and — in effect — IMA Bond), as well as other areas.
What are arguments in favor of rejecting this tentative agreement?

Considerations raised by members on 6/1 include:

  • The movement made in the tentative agreement on compensation is not enough to keep up increases to costs of living, a key issue of equity we have been pushing for in this contract campaign;
  • An effective strike would enable us to build power, with the continued solidarity of other labor unions, to keep pushing for a better offer;
  • UW Admin has not made sufficient movement during negotiations or treated us with sufficient respect for this tentative agreement to be enough to call off a strike.
How can I get more information or give feedback?

Members of the bargaining committee will be holding office hours on campus at the HUB Starbucks on Saturday from 10am-5pm and in the UAW Local office on Sunday from 10am-5pm. You are also welcome to email uaw4121@uaw4121.org, contact your steward, and check out the website for more information or with questions.

How long is the vote open? How will we be notified of the results?

The vote will open in the morning on Saturday, June 2 and will close 5pm on Sunday June 3. Members will be notified via email and on the website of the results by 6pm on Sunday.

How can I vote? 

You should have received your ballot via email on the morning of Saturday June 2. If you cannot find your ballot or have not received it, please email the Elections Committee at elections@uaw4121.org.