How State, Local, University and School Employees Can Opt Out of Dues and Fees for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 79 “AFSCME Florida”
AFSCME Florida is the council managing various local affiliates for employees of the state government, local governments and schools.
Workplaces where AFSCME FL is the exclusive voice of bargaining units of workers include the State of Florida, JEA electric utility, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Housing Authority, UF Health facilities at the University of Florida, the University of West Florida, City of Williston, UF Shands Hospital, City of Pensicola, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, University of North Florida, City of Defuniac, City of High Springs, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Hillsborough County, New College of Florida, Martin County School, City of Pinellas Park, Volusia County Schools, City of Brandenton, Manitee County Schools, City of Venice, City of Naples, City of Daytona Beach, Polk County Schools, City of Sanibel, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, City of North Port, City of Avon Park, City of Sebring, Orange County, Martin County, Maimi-Dade County, City of Hialeah, City of Maimi, Maimi-Dade County Schools, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Maimi-Dade County Port Authority, City of Maimi Beach, City of Miami, City of Hallendale Beach, City of OpaLocka, Broward County Port Everglades, City of Oakland Park, Maimi-Dade County, City of North Maimi Beach, Florida International University, Cities of South Miami and West Miami and the City of Diana Beach.
Public employees may decline to pay these private organizations without losing their jobs or employer-provided benefits.
To stop the union from deducting dues from your pay:
- Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
- On the resulting page, click the link to open your customized form. You will also receive an email with a link to your form.
- Print the form. If you check the appropriate box about needing a printed version, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
- Sign and date the form, and make two copies.
- Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
- Provide a copy to your employer’s payroll officer and keep a copy for your files.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should receive some acknowledgement of your request from the union within a few weeks.
Because it has a financial interest in continuing to withhold dues from your pay, the union may contact you and attempt to persuade you to keep your membership. Their sales pitch may include untrue claims and scare tactics. It is a good idea to try to document any questionable claims made by union representatives. Do not be bullied! If you stand your ground, there is nothing the union can do to retaliate against you for opting out.
Monitor your paychecks to make sure the dues deductions stop. Contact the union if the deductions continue more than a couple paychecks after you submit your resignation request.
Some unions have tricked employees into signing membership forms with fine print waiving their right to resign except during a short annual window period. If the union claims you signed such a form and therefore cannot cancel the dues deductions from your pay, ask to be provided with documentation that you ever signed such an agreement.
Union dues for AFSCME FL include payments to the local association, the state council and the national association and can total hundred of dollars per year.
Yes. AFSCME FL has been empowered by the state to represent those in your workplace. Employees are not allowed to negotiate their own compensation or handle their own grievances with their employer, nor can they hire another person or entity to represent them.
In exchange for this unusual benefit, AFSCME FL is legally obligated to represent all employees in the workplace, including those who choose not to join the union as members.
Consequently, the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union and your employer will continue to set the terms and conditions of your employment and the union will continue to represent you in grievances, contract enforcement, discipline assistance or other proceedings governed by the collective bargaining agreement.
No. All provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between the union and your employer will continue to govern your employment. Your wages, health benefits, retirement and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of AFSCME FL.
While the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will still govern your employment, as a nonmember, the union may choose to prevent you from participating in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings or voting in union elections, including contract ratification votes. Unions also commonly withhold any special “members-only” deals or discounts the union has arranged for with businesses. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.
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 on causes like abortion advocacy and attacks on values. Additionally, the core union philosophy of conflict, oath-breaking, disrespect and greed also can be perceived as contrary to many religious beliefs. To learn more about the major public unions’ expenditures in light of common faith beliefs click here.
Public employee unions are private organizations with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members.
The IRS requires unions’ 990 tax return to be a public document, and these can be found online at sites like this. AFSCME FL reports using the Employer Identification Number EIN 59-1882844.
All private-sector unions, and some public sector unions, are obligated to report financial information to the U.S. Dept. of Labor in an annual LM-2 report which can be found here. AFSCME FL reports using the Dept. of Labor file number of 513-362.
Those represented by a local bargaining agent often also pay several related organizations, such as state and national affiliates, and also regional, state and national labor councils.
These organizations are less likely to perform workplace representation services, and may report to the IRS some of the financial activity found in their 990 tax returns, or to the U.S. Department of Labor in their LM-2 forms.