Will WMS Workers Have a Union in 2024?

Time is running out for WMSEA.

Unless we act quickly, we may miss our chance to negotiate over economic issues before the October 1, 2024 deadline. This deadline is a requirement by state law that all negotiated and ratified collective bargaining agreements are submitted to the Office of Financial Management by October 1, for review.

Join Here so We Can Form Our Union!

Hundreds of your WMS coworkers in agencies across the state have signed union authorization cards, adding their voices to the demand for a WMS union. As of January 1, 2024, we have the ability to form that union—but we’re not in the clear yet.

Without a  majority of WMS employees that support forming a union signing a card we won’t be able to file for our union and move forward to bargaining a contract.

What are the steps we need to take to create our WMS union in time to bargain for this cycle?

Step 1: A majority of Band 1 & 2 WMS employees sign cards expressing support for forming a union.

Step 2: File with the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to have our union certified.

This process is not a fast one. Once we’ve submitted to PERC, it could take from 45 to 90 days for them to officially certify our new union. Because of this waiting period, we are looking at a very small window to bargain a contract before the October 1 deadline.

Step 3: Elect a team of our peers and bargain a strong contract. We must be PERC certified in time to bargain in the summer/fall of 2024.

As the cost of living continues to soar, our wages as WMS employees have been continually compressed compared to union-represented staff. We need a progressive salary schedule to be able to plan for our futures and our families.

We need increased transparency and standardized rules, protections, and guidelines around workload concerns like hours, discipline, and discharge.

We need the tools a union can offer to address equity concerns between different departments at the WMS level.

All of this is what is at stake in this process.

Step 4: Ratify our contract and submit economic proposals to OFM by October 1, 2024.

After our bargaining team negotiates our contract, all members will vote on whether to ratify the proposed agreement with our employer. After this happens, all economic proposals must be submitted to OFM by October 1, 2024.

If we miss any of these steps, we can still bargain—but we may not see any of our hard work pay off until the next bargaining cycle in 2025. Significant change could be pushed out by two years.

What can I do to help?

  • Sign a card.
  • Talk to your coworkers!
  • Submit a quote and photo sharing why you support WMSEA. You are the best person to reach your coworkers about this important, time-sensitive process.

October 1 is coming quickly. Every day that goes by without our filing for union recognition, our opportunity to make real change in 2025 gets slimmer.