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AFT

How Educators and School Employees in Oregon Can Opt Out of AFT Dues

Over 13,000 faculty members, teaching assistants, and classified school employees in Oregon are represented by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and its local affiliates. Each local AFT union goes by a different name:

  • Associated Academic Professionals (AAP) – University of Oregon
  • AFT-Oregon Coast United Employees (AFTOCUE) – Oregon Coast Community College
  • Blue Mountain Federation of Teachers (BMFT) – Grant School District
  • Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) – Oregon State University
  • Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) – University of Oregon
  • Hillsboro Classified United (HCU) – Hillsboro School District
  • Lane Community College Employees Federation (LCCEF) – Lane Community College
  • Portland Community College Federation of Classified Employees (PCCFCE) – Portland Community College
  • Portland Community College Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (PCCFFAP) – Portland Community College
  • Portland Federation of School Professionals (PFSP) – Portland Public Schools
  • Portland State University Faculty Association (PSUFA) – Portland State University
  • Scappoose Federation of Classified Employees (SFCE) – Scappoose School District
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College Classified Federation (SWOCCCF) – Southwestern Oregon Community College
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College Federation of Teachers (SWOCCFT) – Southwestern Oregon Community College
  • United Academics – University of Oregon
  • United Employees of Columbia Gorge Community College (UECGCC) – Columbia Gorge Community College
  • Western Oregon University Federation of Teachers (WOUFT) – Western Oregon Community College

For years, faculty members and other public school employees were required to pay union dues to AFT as a condition of employment and their employer automatically deducted union dues from workers’ paychecks.

However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), faculty and other public school employees can now demand that AFT cease withholding union dues/fees from their paychecks.

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 dues by filling out the form below, printing it and mailing it to AFT.

To opt out of AFT dues:

  1. Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
  2. On the next 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 below, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
  4. Sign and date the form.
  5. Mail the completed form to AFT at the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
  • We will not contact you unless you choose to receive updates from us
  • e.g. University of Oregon, Portland Community College, Scappoose School District, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get AFT or my local AFT affiliate to stop deducting dues from my paychecks?

Completing the form above will generate a letter you can send to AFT to resign your formal union membership and cease paying dues.

Send a signed copy of your letter to:

David Rives, President
AFT-Oregon
10228 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219

We highly recommend sending the letter via certified mail so you have proof of delivery. Keep a copy of the letter and your certified mail receipt for your reference.

How much are AFT dues?

Dues vary widely from one union to another, but typically range from several hundred to over $1,000 per year. The exact amount of your dues will vary depending on your local AFT affiliate.

If I stop paying dues to the union, will I still receive the same wages and benefits specified in AFT's contract with my employer?

Yes. AFT 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.

Does opting out affect my pension?

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, benefits and conditions of employment are all set by the contract and will remain unchanged regardless of whether you are technically a union member and regardless of whether you choose to pay union dues.

Will the union stop helping me with workplace issues?

The union has been recognized by the state as the “exclusive representative” of all members of its bargaining units, whether formal union members or not. In return for the monopoly on this particular service, unions have a corresponding legal duty to provide fair representation.

How will my relationship with the union change if I resign my membership in AFT and stop paying dues?

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 likely be ineligible for certain “members only” benefits, such as discounts on additional insurance or deals the union has arranged with businesses, if any. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.

How does AFT spend my dues money?

The IRS requires unions to annually file a form 990 tax return. These are public documents and can be found online at sites like the Foundation Center.

A few public sector unions are required to file an LM-2 report with the U.S. Department of Labor. They can be viewed at the U.S. DOL union search page.