Union Members – do you Know Where Your Dues Go?

Many teachers call in and ask how they can only belong to their local union, which they believe is a worthwhile membership, but do not wish to belong to the state or national affiliates.   Teacher unions instituted a policy in the 70’s called Unified Dues, which decreed that each member would join and belong to all 3 levels of the union (local, state, national) and that a subsequent percentage of dues would also be allocated between the 3 levels.  The Pioneer Institute of Massachusetts has done a study, the results of which may surprise teacher members.

Only a small share of annual union dues paid by faculty at the University of Massachusetts, state colleges and universities and community college campuses that make dues data publicly available remain with local union affiliates to cover the costs of collective bargaining and grievance procedures, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

“Last year’s [National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation-won] U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Janus case gives public employees the right to make informed decisions about joining or remaining in the union,” said Pioneer Institute executive director Jim Stergios. “As faculty make determinations about the value of union membership, it’s important for them to know where their dues payments are going.”