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IUOE 286

To opt out of IUOE 286 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, and make two copies.
  5. Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
  6. Provide a copy to your employer’s payroll officer and keep a copy for your files.

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International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) 286 is the designated union that represents over 3,000 public employees working for local governments, public utilities, colleges, and school districts in Washington such as Clover Park Technical College, Bates Technical College, Clover Park Technical College, City of Seattle, Lakehaven Utility District, Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma, King County Hospital Districts 1 & 2, City of Sumner, City of Buckley, Tacoma School District, Sumner School District, North Thurston School District, Dieringer School District, and Puyallup School District.

For years, public employees in Washington have been forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment, allowing unions to take their members for granted. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that public employees can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will. (Janus v. AFSCME, 2018).

“States and public-sector unions may no longer extract [funds] from nonconsenting employees.  . . . This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue.”

Consequently, public employees may decline to pay these private organizations without losing their jobs or employer-provided benefits.

It is important to know that IUOE 286 may continue to automatically withhold dues from employees’ pay even if they never signed up for membership in the first place. The best way to ensure the deductions stop is to submit a request to the union in writing.

IUOE 286 has merged with IUOE 302 to form IUOE Local 302 District 286. Fill out the form above to opt out of District 286.

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.

Because it has a financial interest in continuing to withhold dues from your pay, the union may contact you and attempt to persuade you to keep your membership. Their sales pitch may include untrue claims and scare tactics. It is a good idea to try to document any questionable claims made by union representatives. Do not be bullied! If you stand your ground, there is nothing the union can do to retaliate against you for opting out.

Monitor your paychecks to make sure the dues deductions stop. Contact the union if the deductions continue more than a couple paychecks after you submit your resignation request.

Some unions have tricked employees into signing membership forms with fine print waiving their right to resign except during a short annual window period. If the union claims you signed such a form and therefore cannot cancel the dues deductions from your pay, ask to be provided with documentation that you ever signed such an agreement.

How much are IUOE 286 dues?

According to federal filings, the union collects 2% of its members’ gross wages in addition to a flat payment of up to $360 per year.

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

Yes. IUOE 286 has been empowered by the state to represent those in your workplace. Employees are not allowed to negotiate their own compensation or handle their own grievances with their employer, nor can they hire another person or entity to represent them.

In exchange for this unusual benefit, IUOE 286 is legally obligated to represent all employees in the workplace, including those who choose not to join the union as members.

Consequently, the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union and your employer 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. All provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between the union and your employer will continue to govern your employment. Your wages, health benefits, retirement and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of IUOE 286.

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

While the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will still govern your employment, as a nonmember, the union may choose to prevent you from participating in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings or voting in union elections, including contract ratification votes. Unions also commonly withhold any special “members-only” deals or discounts the union has arranged for 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 IUOE 286 spend my dues money?

IUOE 302 District 286 is a private organization with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members.

However, the IRS requires unions’ 990 tax return to be a public document, and these can be found online at sites like this. Also, private-sector unions, and some public sector unions, are obligated to report financial information to the U.S. Dept. of Labor in an annual LM-2 report which can be found here.

Additionally, a portion of your local dues typically fund several related organizations, such as state and national affiliates.  A portion of District 286 dues goes to support the IUOE national headquarters in Washington D.C. which is required to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor. The most recent report filed by the IUOE is available here.

IUOE Headquarters

The IUOE headquarters collected $63.9 million from local affiliated unions in 2022.

  • $16.2 million was spent by IUOE on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying. This includes a $518,000 financial contribution to the progressive organization Canadians United 4 Change.
  • $2.9 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff, including a $712,678 stay at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel.
  • $1.3 million was spent on attorneys and private consultants.
  • $793,624 was spent on food and catering, including $19,000 on ice cream.

The IUOE headquarters paid 205 employees in 2022, 96 of whom were paid six figures. IUOE general president James T. Callahan was paid $482,793. Callahan’s family members Thomas Callahan and James J. Callahan were both on payroll making six figures as well.

IUOE Headquarters’ most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

Union officials are also required to file reports with the Dept. of Labor disclosing potential conflicts of interest related to IUOE’s business dealings. General president James Callahan has regularly filed LM-30 reports with the Dept. of Labor disclosing that he is on the board of and receives compensation from Ullico, Inc., a company that provides insurance, financial services, and administrative products to IUOE.