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Comptroller’s Office stops collecting union fees from nonmembers

In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Connecticut Comptroller’s Office confirmed they are no longer collecting agency fees for state employees who opted out of union membership.

The change will be evident in employees’ July 20 paycheck, which covers the pay period between June 22 and July 5.

The loss of those agency fees could cost Connecticut’s various government unions up to $3.4 million per year, approximately 10 percent of their annual take from state employees, according to numbers supplied by the Comptroller’s Office.

There were 7,143 state employees listed as agency fee payers in April, and they contributed an average of $20.25 per paycheck toward union coffers, or $527.94 per year, according to the figures.

Some of the agency fees ranged as high as $64 per month for healthcare professionals and as low as $16.24 for community college faculty.

Full member dues averaged $26.37 per paycheck or approximately $687.50 per year.

Government unions were collecting approximately $2.6 million per month in dues and fees, totaling $34 million per year from 51,148 state employees, according to the figures.

The loss of the agency fees from the 7,143 non-members will mean $289,418 less into government union coffers per month — potentially $3.4 million per year. However, exact yearly figures are difficult to determine because the number of state employees changes over the course of a year.

Separate figures in June showed nearly 2,000 fewer agency fee payers because higher education employees are not collecting paychecks during the summer months, according to the Comptroller’s Office.

The agency fees are meant to reflect the collective bargaining costs of the union minus their political work.

A large portion of union dues go toward union officer and employee pay. SEIU 1199 paid $3.3 million to officers and employees in 2017 for “representational activities” and an additional $351,116 for “political activities and lobbying,” according to the union’s financial disclosures.

AFSCME Council 4 spent $4.9 million on officers and employees in those same categories and the American Federation of Teachers spent $2.5 million.

Whether the Supreme Court decision prompts unhappy union members to opt out remains to be seen, but unions have initiated campaigns encouraging state and local government employees and teachers to remain in their respective unions.

Those efforts include encouraging members to sign new membership cards, which may place restrictions on their ability to opt out in the future.

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(16) Comments

  1. COLADY

    July 20, 2018 10:12 am

    Glad to see the unions defanged and now people have a choice. As a worker in the private sector, I’m glad to see people in the public sector waking up to the fact unions are not their friends. These unions are thecreason a number of states can no longer put tax monety where it should be applied-on infrastructure, schools, low income housing, etc. These states are having to pay huge pensions to retired public sector employees. Eventually, these states will have to restructure their pensions and the retiree will be the loser. Better that each employee have their own 401K accounts, put that union dues money there and that money is theirs, regardless what the state does. This pension house of cards will fall.

  2. Wayne

    July 5, 2018 11:11 pm

    Fact: Employees who are Members of a Union on average earn better pay, better pensions, better benefits and better working conditions than those employees who are non-union. It’s a fact. Pay your Union Dues. It’s an investment with great returns!

  3. Leo Goodin

    July 2, 2018 8:39 pm

    When does the lawsuit get filed for dues paid over ghe last several decades?? Sign me up.

  4. Nate Wright

    July 2, 2018 6:25 pm

    Here in Connecticut we have more than enough reason to dump the public agency unions. They used our monies to back democratic candidates for years who did not fund public pension liabilities, “kicked the can down the road”, getting us and the state into the position we are in today! Because of SEBAC I lose $3k a year in “Retiree health benefits” and no raise in how long? My salary has effectively declined over the past 5 years! I can well use the $1,300 that the union sucks out of me with no return. They’re gutless and stooges for the democrats!

  5. Rod

    July 2, 2018 2:56 pm

    Spent 20 years in a union (IAM) and 20 years as salaried non-union. My 20 years as non union were so much more productive and personally rewarding. Unions exist only for themselves. Union was constantly fighting with the company and trying to slow production, warning the members to not be a “Job killer.”

  6. jimbo

    July 2, 2018 12:17 pm

    listen to the Capt, he makes a lot of sense.

  7. Capt-n-Ahab

    July 2, 2018 10:27 am

    Unions are lying to their members. So the Unions say, pay your dues, we will negotiate a great retirement package for you, no layoffs etc – Its a pack of lies. Our state is pretty close (3-4 years?) away from some kind of insolvency – ie. inability to pay our expenses. Most of these expenses are due to state worker pay and pensions. ASK ANYONE WHITH 1/2 A BRAIN and you will find out its your retirement package wont be there as you are promised it. Union bosses KNOW this but they are lying ! ………If you ask me: its smarter to Keep more of your paycheck now and think twice about supporting unions who are lying to their members about benefits which are impossible to pay!

  8. Al

    July 2, 2018 8:26 am

    Don’t be foolish and opt out of your union. As someone who had never been in a union, there were many times I wish I was. The protection they provide is invaluable. Just one representation by the union lawyer is worth the price of your dues. Right to work states have lower wages and reduced benefits. Try sitting in front of your boss and asking for a raise vs. having the union negotiate it for you. There are too many benefits of being a union member to not be.

  9. Marjorie Bonadies

    July 2, 2018 7:57 am

    Put the money back in your own pockets! You can save it or spend it much more wisely than a union. Unions care only about their own survival. Forcing government to take $ from you so they can buy a Senator or Governor to keep feeding the beast is an idea that needs to land on the garbage heap of history. You don’t need “protection” if you do your job, just like the other 90% of employed people.

  10. Nancy skorenki

    July 2, 2018 6:02 am

    Once the unions reach below a certain percentage and won’t be able to operat anymore state employees will be start seeing their benefits being reduced such as limited vacation, more money towards health care and your hourly pay will change, and not for the better. Your employer will be able to fire you a lot easier too. Look at the states that don’t have unions and see the difference in pay and benefits. Their not as good as union backed states. You MUST keep paying your dues weather we’re upset with the union or not.

  11. Rfay22

    July 1, 2018 11:05 am

    Don’t be stupid, pay your dues

  12. G$

    July 1, 2018 7:21 am

    ⬆️scabs. Smh

  13. JTRACZ

    June 30, 2018 5:49 pm

    If you opt out are you still protected by the contract?

    • Marc E. Fitch

      July 2, 2018 12:23 pm

      Yes

  14. Stephen Pacuk

    June 29, 2018 4:10 pm

    How do I opt out from local 749 -asceme conciel 4 ct

    • Marc E. Fitch

      June 30, 2018 10:51 am

      AFSCME makes it difficult. You have a 30 day window around your membership anniversary. So you have to find out when your membership anniversary is and then submit in writing your wish to leave. However, some of these restrictions may be forced to change if they are challenged legally. If you have any problems exercising your rights please let us know.

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