Opt Out Today

AFSCME Council 61

To opt out of AFSCME Council 61 dues:

  1. Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
  2. On the resulting page, click the link to open your customized form. You will also receive an email with a link to your form.
  3. Print the form. If you check the appropriate box about needing a printed version, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
  4. Sign and date the form.
  5. Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.

AFSCME Council 61 is the designated union for approximately 40,000 public employees in Iowa, including, state, city, county, and school district employees.

Those who find themselves in a union-represented workplace should know that Iowa law has long protected public employees from being forced to financially support a union against their will. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME reaffirmed that all public employees have a constitutional right to choose for themselves whether to pay any union dues or fees.

You can opt out of AFSCME Council 61 dues by filling out the form above, printing it and mailing it to AFSCME Council 61.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after I send my resignation to the union?

You should receive some acknowledgement of your request from the union within a few weeks.

If you do not hear anything back within a reasonable amount of time, contact the union again. If you still do not receive a response, contact us for assistance. Finally, if the union refuses to cancel your dues payments, ask them to provide you with written documentation and contact us for assistance.

How much are AFSCME Council 61 dues?

According to federal filings, AFSCME Council 61 dues are currently $21.50 per month.

Will the union continue to represent me if I opt out?

Yes. AFSCME Council 61 has arranged to be the “exclusive representative” of its bargaining units, meaning it is impossible for workers to get out of the terms of the contract, even if they cease paying dues.

In exchange for the monopoly on this particular service, AFSCME Council 61 is legally obligated to represent all employees in the workplace, including those who choose not to join the union as members. The collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union and your employer will continue to set your wages and any other terms of employment to which the state and the union have agreed.

Will I lose wages, health care, retirement or other benefits if I opt out?

No. Under state law, a union contract is binding on all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether they are technically union “members.” Your wages are governed by the collective bargaining agreement and will remain unchanged if you opt out of AFSCME Council 61. Meanwhile, your insurance, retirement and other benefits are not subject to collective bargaining – these are set by the state and will be unaffected if you opt out of AFSCME Council 61.

How will my relationship with the union change if I opt out?

While the terms of the contract will still govern your employment, union officials commonly prohibit nonmembers from participating in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings, voting for union officers or participating in contract ratification votes. You’ll also be ineligible for any special “members only” benefits, such as discounts on additional insurance, scholarship programs, or deals the union has arranged with businesses. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.

Why do people opt out of the union?

People have many reasons for not wanting to support the union. Some simply do not believe the services the union provides are worth the dues it charges. Others may find the union’s one-size-fits-all agenda does not serve them well because they are new to the profession, have a specialty that is not acknowledged in bargaining, or they believe their effectiveness is undercompensated. Some resent the union’s role in enabling and defending underperforming employees. Many find the union’s political activity and use of dues to advance partisan causes, candidates and ideology distasteful. Still others believe that union officials are corrupt and unaccountable to their membership.

Unions representing public employees are not governed by the usual consumer protection or anti-trust laws, so abuses are common. Unions can charge whatever they wish. They can spend dues money on anything they want. Often, they do not have to disclose how dues money is spent to members. They can speak for employees without consulting or informing them. They can injure some members’ interests while advancing the interests of others. Unions even have the ability to prevent employees from getting help in their workplace from other sources. They are not governed by any obligation to provide quality service, and almost never have to seek approval of the people they represent in an election to continue as the exclusive representative.

Sometimes people have a faith-based objection to unions’ expenditures. To learn more about some of the major public unions’ expenditures in light of common faith beliefs, click here.

How does AFSCME Council 61 spend my dues money?

AFSCME Council 61 is a private organization with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members.

However, the IRS requires unions’ 990 tax return to be a public document, and these can be found online at sites like this. AFSCME Council 61 reports using the Employer Identification Number (EIN) 42-1080686.

Additionally, AFSCME Council 61 is required to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor that provide more detailed information about the union’s finances, including how much it spends on certain political and lobbying activities. The most recent report filed by AFSCME Council 61 is available here.