Notice Regarding Union Security Agreements and Agency Fee Obligations
Many collective bargaining agreements negotiated by UWA and its affiliated Local Unions contain a “union security” clause stating that employees must become and remain members of the Union as a condition of employment. Employers and unions are authorized to negotiate these provisions under the National Labor Relations Act. Employees covered by such a clause will be informed of that fact. If you are covered by a union security clause, you may fulfill your “union security” obligations either by joining the Union, and thereby enjoying the full rights and benefits of Union membership; or you may choose not to become a Union member, and fulfill your financial obligations to the Union under the union security clause as an “agency fee payer.”
Employees who elect to become agency fee payers (that is, who choose not to become members of UWA or an affiliated Local Union) forfeit the right to enjoy the benefits available to Union members. Among the benefits available only to Union members are the rights to attend and participate in Union meetings; to run for Union office; to nominate and vote for candidates for Union office; to participate in contract ratification and strike votes; to participate in the development and formulation of Union policies; and to serve as a delegates to the Unions Convention.
Agency fee payers generally are charged the same dues and initiation fees uniformly required of Union members. However, under the UWA’s Policy on Agency Fee Objections, employees who are not Union members and who pay agency fees pursuant to a union security clause, may request a reduction in that fee based on their objection to certain kinds of Union expenditures. Under the UWA’s Policy, the agency fee payable by objectors will be based on expenditures for those activities or projects that are “germane to collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment,” within the applicable United States Supreme Court and National Labor Relations Board decisions (See Communication Workers of Am. v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988)). Among these “chargeable” expenditures are those going for negotiations with employers; enforcing collective bargaining agreements; informal meetings with employer representatives; discussions of work-related issues with employees; handling employees’ work-related problems through the grievance procedure, administrative agencies or informal meetings; organizing employers that compete with employers that have contracts with the Union; Union administration; litigation and publications related to these chargeable expenditures.
Among the expenditures treated as “non-chargeable,” which objectors will not be required to support, are those going for community service (including participating in charitable events); legislative activities; cost of affiliation with non UWA organizations; support of political candidates; and public relations directed towards functional activities that are not considered germane to representing non-members in the collective bargaining
process; union publications to the extent they report on non-administrative or non-representational activities.
This notice is to inform any non-members that the beck objector dues rate reduction based on the expenditures of calendar year 2019 is 1% as calculated by the organizations Certified Public Accountant (table below)
1) Any non-member who pays fees to the union pursuant to a union security provision in a collective bargaining agreement has the right to object to any portion of the fee, which will be expended on activities that are not germane to the Unions duties as the bargaining agent.
2) The objection must be in written form, signed by the objector, and sent to the National Secretary-Treasurer 367 Long Beach Road 147 Island Park, NY 11558. The objection must contain the objector's name and address, and must identify the collective bargaining agreement(s) under which the objector works to which the objector pays fees.
3) The objection must be postmarked within 30 days of the objector's becoming a nonmember of the union, or between March 1 and March 31, or the objector first being required to pay fees to the union. Objections do not carry over and must be filed each year that a non-member is objecting.
4) Any objector who disagrees with the reduction amount can file an appeal. An appeal must be filed from April 1 of the year that the reduction amount is established to April 30 of that same year. The appeal must be in written form, signed by the objector, and sent to the National Secretary-Treasurer 367 Long Beach Road 147 Island Park, NY 11558. The appeal must be in writing and state the basis for the challenge. Appeals will be decided by an impartial arbitrator appointed by the American Arbitration Association through its Rules for Impartial Determination of Union Fees.