Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join the Professional Staff Organization?

If you are a member of the permanent exempt staff at Western, you are already a member of the "PSO"!

If you're not certain whether you are a permanent exempt staff member, contact us, and we'll let you know. Likewise, you can also contact and ask. They can tell you.

Membership is limited to permanent exempt staff.

Is the PSO a union?

The PSO is not a union. While faculty and classified staff at Western are part of a number of different bargaining units, the exempt staff at Western do not work within a contract. Some Washington State higher education institutions have exempt staff that are part of a union.

What are we "exempt" from?

In an ironic deployment of the English language giving clues as to authorship, exempt staff are exempt from overtime pay. However, due to the "salary test" at the state level, some overtime "exempt" employees are overtime eligible. You heard that right. If you are overtime eligible, and also exempt, you will turn in a timesheet each pay period with your hours worked.

Every year, the floor for overtime-eligible employees rises based on calculations related to state minimum wage; so while you may begin in a position not reporting time, you may, due to your salary, become overtime eligible and engage in "positive time reporting."

Can I talk to someone about the PSO?

Sure! Look for your division representative on our Executive Committee, or email

What is the Executive Committee?

The Executive Committee is an all-volunteer statutory governance body of elected PSO members serving two-year terms. Learn more about elections and see the list of current Executive Committee members.

I have questions about salary, benefits, paid leave, and parking on campus.

Your best place to start for nitty-gritty questions about your employment here is with HR. If you're still not sure after that, check back with us, and we'll give you some guidance.

If you have questions about parking, start on the Transportation Services page.

I'm having a workplace conflict.

Send us an email if you're not sure where to start. We'll offer basic guidance and tell you what options the PSO can help you with.

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