Dear Alma| More Help for “Scared”

Dear Alma

Dear Alma,

You answered me about union membership (March 29, 2014), but “fair share” dues still seem so unfair.

Do I really hafta?


Still Scared of Jimmy Hoffa.


Dear Still Scared,

The law requires the union to represent you and all other members of the bargaining unit fairly and to pursue your rights through the grievance process, whether or not you are a member. So that the dues paying members don’t have to bear the cost of the representing non-members, you may be required to pay a portion of the cost of representation. That’s why the fees required in lieu of membership dues are called “fair-share.” It’s equitable to pay for services you are receiving.

We think the benefits of a strong and active union would quickly become apparent to most faculty.  Not only will it work for you at the campus level — it can be a firm voice for you in Springfield.

A union weakened by lack of financial support from “free riders” — non-paying members it would be have to represent — would certainly cost more as measured by lower pay and benefits and less effective protection of your individual employment rights.

Love, Alma

p.s.  Did you know union dues are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law,  just like  professional society memberships and dues?

Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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