Opt Out Today

AFT 2309 – Oklahoma City

To opt out of AFT – Oklahoma 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.

Do the tactics of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Oklahoma make you uncomfortable as a member of this association? Do you seek to be perceived as a professional rather than a line worker? Did you join with some reservations which are being confirmed by the walk out? Do you wonder about the causes and ideology supported by your union dues?

Membership in the American Federation of Teachers and AFT-Oklahoma is optional for Oklahoma educators.

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.

In most 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 AFT – Oklahoma 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.

How much are AFT - Oklahoma dues?

Membership in Oklahoma City -AFT in 2017-18 is $656.40 for a certified, full-time educator.

$228 of this is sent to Washington, D.C. for the American Federation of Teachers, and the rest is for the local association, the state council, and AFL-CIO affiliates. AFT membership is “unified,” meaning one is not allowed to be a member of just the local association without also joining and funding the AFT.

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

Yes.  AFT – Oklahoma 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, AFT – Oklahoma 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 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.

Will I lose wages, healthcare, 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 compensation, health benefits, retirement, and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of AFT – Oklahoma.

How does AFT - Oklahoma spend dues money?

Because the national level organizations have limited workplace responsibilities, their funds are commonly spent on politics and ideological causes. AFT in Washington D.C. acknowledges that more than a third of the funds they receive are used for extraneous purposes like politics and causes.

Public employee unions are private organizations with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members. Private sector unions report to the US Department of Labor. The Oklahoma locals do not report the same information that private sector unions do, but the AFT does

As a nonprofit, the IRS requires the Oklahoma City –AFT local 2309 (EIN 73-0955513) to annually file a form 990 tax return. These are public documents and can be found online at sites like the Foundation Center.

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.