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Colorado-WINS

To opt out of Colorado WINS dues:

Colorado WINS has announced they will not take our forms. Please click the “Email CO-WINS” to receive an email you can forward to them to start the opt out process.

You will still receive a separate email with the normal protocols for opting out.

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In 2020, Colorado’s state legislature passed a law that automatically recognized “Colorado WINS” (SEIU/AFT Local 1876) as the designated union representative for approximately 30,000 state employees.

Although state employees in Colorado may now find themselves represented by a labor union, it’s important to know that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018) has established that public employees can no longer be forced 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.

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 most 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 Colorado WINS 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 Colorado WINS dues?

Colorado WINS deducts 1.5% of members’ base salary.

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

Yes. Colorado WINS has been designated as the “exclusive representative” of its statewide bargaining unit, 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, Colorado WINS 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 the state 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.

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

No. Under state law, the 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 Colorado WINS.

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

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.

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 Colorado WINS spend my dues money?

Colorado WINS

Colorado WINS collected $1.1 million in dues and fees from its members in calendar year 2018, according to reports the union must file with the IRS.

In 2018 alone:

  • $364,000 went to affiliate organizations, including the headquarters of the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Teachers to support their massive political, economic and social agendas. Both unions regularly support a host of controversial organizations. For example, Planned Parenthood received $50,000 from SEIU in 2019.
  • $65,000 was spent by Colorado WINS on political activity and lobbying.
  • $125,000 was spent on legal fees.
  • $8,300 was spent on travel, conferences and meetings.

Colorado WINS paid five employees in 2018. Executive director Hilary Glasgow received $148,200.

Colorado WINS’s most recent IRS 990 reports are available here: 2018, 2015.

A portion of the dues paid by Colorado WINS members goes to support the SEIU Colorado State Council.

SEIU Colorado State Council

SEIU Colorado collected $54,000 from local affiliates and $740,000 in grants from the SEIU headquarters in calendar year 2020, according to reports the union files with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

  • $567,000 was spent on political activity and lobbying. This amounts to 89% of its total spending.
  • SEIU Colorado reported no spending related to representing union members.

SEIU Colorado paid nine employees in 2020. Executive director Lauren Martens was paid $85,760.

SEIU Colorado’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

A portion of the dues paid by Colorado WINS members goes to support the headquarters of SEIU in Washington, D.C.

SEIU Headquarters

SEIU collected $255 million from its affiliates in 2020. In that year alone:

  • $60 million was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
  • $2.9 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations. This includes $410,000 donated to the Alliance for Global Justice, a left-wing, anti-capitalist organization that grew out of the Nicaragua Network, which supported the Communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.
  • $2.3 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff. SEIU’s hotel expenses include a $398,000 bill from a 4-star resort in San Diego.
  • $26.5 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
  • $150,000 was spent on food and catering.

SEIU paid 583 employees in 2020, 295 of whom were paid six figures. SEIU international president Mary Kay Henry was paid $297,126.

SEIU’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

A portion of the dues that Colorado WINS members pay may also go to support AFT Colorado.

AFT Colorado

AFT Colorado collected $794,000 in dues and fees from its members in fiscal year 2019.

  • $522,000 went to affiliate organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers headquarters in Washington, D.C., to support its massive political, economic and social agenda. AFT regularly supports a host of controversial organizations.
  • $4,800 was spent on travel, conferences and meetings for union staff.
  • $3,700 was spent on legal fees.

The union paid 11 employees in calendar year 2018.

AFT Colorado’s most recent IRS 990 reports are available here: 2019, 2018, 2016.

A portion of the dues paid by Colorado WINS members goes to support the AFT.

American Federation of Teachers

AFT collected $186 million from its members in fiscal year 2020.

  • $31.3 million was spent by AFT on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying. This includes a $150,000 contribution to Emily’s List, an organization whose mission is to put Democratic, pro-abortion women into elected offices.
  • $8.5 million was paid or contributed to various organizations, many of which are ideologically driven.
  • $5.6 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff. This includes $197,000 spent on a conference at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. AFT also paid $85,000 for limousine and luxury chauffeuring services.
  • $9.7 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
  • $84,000 was spent on food and catering.

AFT paid 374 officers and employees in 2020, 235 of whom were paid six figures. AFT president Rhonda Weingarten received $453,000.

AFT’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.