Concerned about the ongoing economic crisis and lack of leadership by their union, California State employees represented by SEIU have watched in dismay in recent years as millions of dollars were deducted from workers’ paychecks only to be funneled out of state into a variety of political campaigns and ideological causes.
In June, 2010, many of these workers sent SEIU a message.
First, to call attention to SEIU’s failure to address the issues they face every day, many California State employees resigned their SEIU membership.
The Supreme Court, in Communication Workers v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988) …ruled that objecting nonmembers cannot be required to pay union dues. The most that nonmembers can be required to pay is an agency fee that equals their share of what the union can prove is its costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment with their employer. 
These workers exercised their legal rights to resign from full membership in SEIU and become “Fair-Share” fee payers. And to tell SEIU they only wanted to pay their “Fair Share” (for expenses related to their workplace), they used an annual one-month window to file Non-Germane Objector Forms.
These Non-Germane Objector Forms notified SEIU that they would no longer subsidize the millions of dollars spent with no bearing on their collective bargaining agreements.
These workers are using their rights, guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), to object to payroll deductions by SEIU above the amount needed for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.
Here are examples of activities that these workers do not have to subsidize:
- Political activities, including activities related to ballot and bond issues.
- Ideological activities.
- Lobbying, unless necessary to ratify or fund the collective bargaining agreement in the nonmember public employee’s bargaining unit.
- Public relations activities.
- Union “members only” benefits.
- Portions of union publications reporting on the foregoing activities.
Now, SEIU must prove that the money they require from “Fair-Share” fee payers is used only for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.
How much will fee-payers save? That information is yet to be determined, but based on data from sources outside SEIU Local 1000, the amount may be as high as 40%, or even higher.
If you filed a Non-Germane Objector Form this year, remember…
- The Non-Germane Objector Form form must be submitted every year, so if you filed it in June 2010, you must file it again in June 2011
- This form can only be filed by “Fair-Share” fee payers (who have cancelled their SEIU membership).
For information on the upcoming process to “Fire SEIU” and choose a better union, visit: Why Decertify SEIU?
 “Can I Be Required to Be a Union Member or Pay Dues to a Union?” The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. http://www.nrtw.org/a/a_1_p.htm (accessed July 1, 2010).
Photo credit: Snail Mail by uzvards on flickr. Accessed Jul 2, 2010. Licensed under a Creative Commons license.
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