To opt out of CWA Local 7777 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.
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7777 is the designated union for the custodial staff of 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 CWA Local 7777 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 CWA Local 7777 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 CWA Local 7777 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.
According to federal filings, CWA 7777 deducts 2.25% of members’ pay.
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 CWA Local 7777.
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.
CWA 7777 collected $904,000 in dues and fees from its members in fiscal year 2020, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
In that year alone:
- $436,000 went to the CWA headquarters in Washington, D.C., to support its massive political, economic and social agenda. CWA regularly supports a host of controversial organizations.
- $4,900 was paid or contributed to outside organizations.
- $7,200 was spent on private attorneys.
CWA 7777 paid 12 officers and employees in fiscal year 2020. Union president Debra Medina was paid $44,500.
A portion of the dues paid by CWA 7777 members goes to support the CWA headquarters.
CWA collected $122.2 million from affiliated local unions in fiscal year 2020.
In 2020 alone:
- $6.8 million was spent by CWA on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying. This includes $165,000 paid to the Center for Popular Democracy, an advocacy organization that supports defunding the police.
- $588,300 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $2.5 million was spent on travel and hotel venues, including $101,700 at a four-star resort in Las Vegas.
- $8.7 million was spent on attorneys and private consultants.
- $44,900 was spent on food and catering.
CWA paid 503 employees in 2020, 209 of whom were paid six figures. CWA president Christopher Shelton was paid $228,849.