How Does Ratification Work?

Contract Ratification Guidelines

  1. Reasonable notice will be given to AFSCME members. Since specific notification methods differ in various locals, the notification method and time frame will be decided by the local union. Every effort will be made to schedule and hold ratification meetings as expeditiously as possible.
  2. Local union members must vote at the meeting site scheduled for their local union.
  3. Membership lists and attendance records will be kept for each ratification meeting.
  4. There will be one membership/voter attendance list for each local. In the case of multiple meetings for one local, the membership list will “follow the ballot box”, unless the local, and the membership list is divided geographically for the purpose of ratification, in which case members will be advised of their ratification meeting site and will be listed on a membership list for that voting site.
  5. In the case of statewide locals, or those where employees are located several hours apart, multiple meeting locations can be arranged in an attempt to accommodate the local members and encourage them to vote.
  6. Only AFSCME members can vote on the contract. If an employee is not Iisted on the AFSCME membership roster, a membership card must be completed and signed by the employee before that employee can vote on the agreement.
  7. Employees whose names appear on the membership list, but who are not known to any local official at the ratification meeting, will be required to show identification.
  8. Fair share fee payers (non-members) are not to be admitted to the ratification meetings, or to the review of the tentative agreement.
  9. The changes tentatively agreed upon will not be distributed to employees prior to the ratification meeting.
  10. Sufficient time will be allowed for questions and detailed explanations of the tentative agreement and contract changes.
  11. The vote on the contract can be done by secret ballot or by show of hands, whatever is the custom of the local union. A final vote count will be maintained by the local union.
  12. Every effort will be made to include a professional AFSCME staff member at each of the ratification meetings.

Approved by the Statewide Ratification Committee
October 3, 2006