How Corrections Employees in Oregon Can Opt Out of AOCE Dues
Certain corrections employees in Oregon are represented by the Association of Oregon Corrections Employees (AOCE).
For years, corrections employees were required to pay union dues to AOCE as a condition of employment and the state automatically deducted union dues from workers’ paychecks.
However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), corrections employees can now demand that AOCE 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 AOCE dues by filling out the form below, printing it and mailing it to AOCE.
To opt out of AOCE dues:
- Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
- On the next 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 below, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
- Sign and date the form.
- Mail the completed form to AOCE at the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Completing the form above will generate a letter you can send to AOCE to resign your formal union membership and cease paying dues.
Send a signed copy of your letter to:
Association of Oregon Corrections Employees
2520 19th St. SE
Salem, OR 97302
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.
Dues vary widely from one union to another, but typically range from several hundred to over $1,000 per year.
Yes. AOCE 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.
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.
The union has been recognized by the state as the “exclusive representative” of all members of the bargaining unit, 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.
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.
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.