To opt out of ATU Local 1563 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.
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1563 is the designated union for bus drivers and mechanics employed by Denver Public Schools.
For years, public employees in Colorado could be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like ATU Local 1563 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 ATU Local 1563 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.
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 ATU Local 1563 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.
ATU Local 1563 does not publicly disclose its dues amount, but dues can typically range from several hundred to over $1,000 per year.
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.
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 ATU Local 1563.
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.
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.
ATU Local 1563
ATU 1563 collected $104,000 in dues and fees from its members in calendar year 2016, according to reports the union must file with the IRS.
In 2016 alone:
- $32,000 went to the ATU international headquarters in Maryland to support its massive political, economic and social agenda. ATU regularly supports a host of controversial organizations.
- $2,300 was spent by ATU 1563 on a hotel and a convention.
- $285 was spent on food and catering.
ATU 1563 president John Adams received a salary of $45,700.
ATU 1563’s most recent IRS 990 report was filed for calendar year 2016. Because the union has not filed a 990 form since then, its tax-exempt status has been revoked.
A portion of the dues paid by ATU 1563 members goes to support the ATU headquarters.
ATU collected $29.7 million from affiliated local unions in fiscal year 2020.
- $1.1 million was spent by the ATU on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $252,700 was paid or contributed to a variety of outside organizations, many of which are ideologically driven.
- $765,000 was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff. An additional $1.5 million was spent on hosting an ATU convention at a four-star hotel in Las Vegas.
- $1.7 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
- $13,700 was spent on food and catering.
ATU paid 82 employees in 2020, 48 of whom were paid six figures. ATU international president John Costa was paid $320,000.