To opt out of AFSCME Local 449 dues:
- 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.
- Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
AFSCME Local 449 is the designated union for various public employees working in and around Pima County, including the City of Tucson and Tucson Unified School District.
Those who find themselves in a union-represented workplace should know that Arizona 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 Local 449 dues by filling out the form above, printing it and mailing it to the union.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should receive some acknowledgement of your request from the union within a few weeks.
In many cases, union dues are automatically deducted from employees’ paychecks. Monitor your paychecks to make sure the dues deductions stop. If the deductions continue for more than a couple pay periods after submitting your opt-out request, contact the union.
Finally, keep in mind:
Opting out is your constitutional right. However, unions like AFSCME Local 449 sometimes place restrictions on when they will accept opt-out requests. If the union refuses to immediately cancel dues deductions from your pay, ask them to provide you with written documentation and contact us for assistance.
According to federal filings, AFSCME Local 449 charges up to $720 per year in dues. In 2020, the average member paid $453 to the union.
Most agreements between public employers and unions in Arizona recognize the union as the “exclusive” or “authorized” representative of all employees covered by the agreement, regardless of their formal union membership status. As a result, the terms of the union’s agreement apply equally to all employees, even if they cease paying dues.
No. Your employer – not the union or the union’s agreement – is ultimately responsible for the terms and conditions of your employment. Your compensation, health benefits, retirement, and anything else provided by the employer will remain unchanged if you opt out of AFSCME Local 449.
While the terms of your employment will remain unchanged, 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.
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.
AFSCME Local 449
AFSCME Local 449 collected $349,000 from its members in 2020, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Of that amount, $118,800 went to AFSCME International to support its massive political, economic and social agenda. AFSCME International regularly supports a host of controversial organizations.
AFSCME Local 449 paid four officers and employees in 2020. Office manager Mary Valdez’s compensation was $57,960.
Also, as of December 2020, the union has accumulated a $392,200 stockpile of spare cash.
A portion of the dues paid by AFSCME Local 449 members goes to AFSCME International in Washington, D.C.
AFSCME collected $183 million from its members nationwide in 2020.
- $62 million was spent by AFSCME on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying. This includes $115,000 in campaign support to Michael Madigan, former speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, who recently fell into disgrace under accusations of corruption and cronyism.
- $2.9 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations. This includes $5,000 donated to the Alliance for Global Justice, a left-wing, anti-capitalist organization that grew out of the Nicaragua Network, which supported the Communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.
- $1.3 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff.
- $4.6 million was spent on attorneys and private consultants.
- $71,500 was spent on food and catering.
AFSCME paid 484 employees in 2020, 211 of whom were paid six figures. AFSCME’s international president, Lee Saunders, was paid $357,000.