Opt Out Today

AFT Colorado

To opt out of AFT Colorado 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.

AFT Colorado is the designated union for various public school employees and college faculty in Colorado.

For years, public employees in Colorado could be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like AFT Colorado to take their members for granted. However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), public employees can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will.

The court ruled that the mandatory dues requirement violated workers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association, and that public employees have the right to choose for themselves whether to pay any union dues or fees.

You can opt out of AFT Colorado dues by filling out the form above, printing it and mailing it to the union.

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 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 AFT Colorado 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 Colorado dues?

AFT Colorado does not publicly disclose its dues amount, but dues can typically range from several hundred to over $1,000 per year.

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

Most agreements between public employers and unions in Colorado recognize the union as the “exclusive 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.

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

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 district will remain unchanged if you opt out of AFT Colorado.

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

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.

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 AFT Colorado spend my dues money?

AFT Colorado 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. AFT Colorado reports using the Employer Identification Number (EIN) 84-0382030.

Additionally, a portion of your local dues typically fund several related organizations, such as state and national affiliates. AFT Colorado is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which is required to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor. The most recent report filed by AFT is available here.