Professional Staff Organization

History of the PSO

The Professional Staff Organization (PSO) was founded in 1990 as a result of an identified need for better professional staff representation on campus and in Olympia. Since its early years, PSO has lobbied in Olympia and has helped secure higher salaries for professional staff. On campus, PSO has worked closely with the President’s office and Human Resources to ensure the interests of professional staff are considered (particularly in relation to benefits) and that professional staff are well-informed of policies and programs impacting their roles. In addition to working at the state level and with University administration, PSO has a positive working relationship with faculty. Since 1995, PSO has been granted ex-officio representation on faculty councils, with many members having voting rights. Over the years, PSO has also had representation on presidential search committees, influenced procedures for mediating workplace disputes, has provided mentorship and professional development opportunities for its members, and has recognized distinguished staff.

PSO has lobbied in Olympia and has helped secure higher salaries for professional staff



Throughout the year the PSO has actively engaged in the process of advancing child care for faculty, students, and staff on campus. Previously, the members of the board sat on the UW’s childcare committee and drafted a resolution in support of advancement, and in November of 2015, the PSO and The Whole U co-hosted an event highlighting updates on the initiative. The event featured a resource fair and presenter Amy Hawkins, director of Worklife and Childcare Development at the UW and was well received by the 100+ attendees. As a result of this successful event the PSO put together a short-term Paid Family Leave Advisory Committee that would look into the possibility of offering support for new parents at the UW. This committee presented their findings to the board in June 2016. Their report and the result of their findings can be found here.


During the past year, the UW held the first bi-annual Northwest Coalition of Professional Staff in Higher Education (NCPS) Conference at Alder Hall on July 19-21. This conference was possible in partnership with Western Washington University, Washington State University and the University of Washington Professional Staff Organizations. The conference was a success with over 100 participants from all over Washington State and the Pacific Northwest Region. Board Member Deci Evan’s led the front as NCPS Executive Chair. The next conference in 2017 is expected to take place at Western Washington University.

PSO sent a letter to the UW Presidential Search Committee Chair Kenyon Chan expressing concern over the lack of non-administrative staff members on the search committee. We did not feel that staff were adequately represented in comparison to the multiple administrator, faculty members and students appointed.

More Accomplishments

For more information on past accomplishments view a downloadable pdf.