To opt out of AFT CT 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.
AFT Connecticut is the designated union for approximately 30,000 teachers, school support staff, nurses, higher education faculty and municipal government employees throughout Connecticut.
For years, public employees in Connecticut have been forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like the AFT CT 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 CT 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. 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.
Depending on your local dues, the amount may vary. AFT CT dues range from $66 to 266. The average amount of dues paid by a member in 2022 was $240.
Yes. The AFT CT 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, the AFT CT 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.
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 the AFT CT.
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.
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.
The AFT CT 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. The AFT CT does not have a current 990 available.
Additionally, a portion of your local dues typically fund several related organizations, such as state and national affiliates. AFT CT is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which is required to file annual financial LM2 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.
In 2022, AFT Connecticut collected $6.7 million dollars from its affiliated local unions in fiscal year 2022, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
In that same year:
- $380,012 was spent on political activity and lobbying.
- $22,643 was paid or contributed to a variety of organizations, many of which are ideologically driven.
- $624,492 was spent on attorneys and private consultants.
AFT Connecticut paid 59 employees in 2022, twenty-one of whom were paid six figures. President Janis Hocahel received $172,218. AFT Connecticut also holds a stockpile of $2.6 million in cash assets.
A portion of the dues paid by AFT Connecticut’s members goes to AFT, the national affiliate headquartered in Washington, D.C.
American Federation of Teachers
AFT collected $212 million from its members in fiscal year 2022.
In that same year:
- $35.8 million was spent by AFT on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $7.1 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $3.9 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff.
- $10 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
- $211,000 was spent on food and catering.
AFT paid 385 officers and employees in 2022, 251 of whom were paid six figures. AFT president Rhonda Weingarten received $487,000.