Opt Out Today


To opt out of IUOE 3 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) local 3 is the designated union for over 46,000 public employees in California, Nevada and Utah. OE 3 collects dues from employees of Santa Clara County and other cities, counties and special government districts throughout Northern California, Northern Nevada and Utah.

For years, public employees in California 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 3 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.

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 3 dues?

According to federal filings, IUOE 3’s regular dues are as high as $3,876 per year, in addition to working dues of $1.37-$1.40 per hour. IUOE 3 also charges initiation fees between $25 and $907. In 2022, the average member paid $1,570 in dues and fees.

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

Yes. IUOE 3 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 3 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 3.

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 3 spend my dues money?

IUOE Local 3

. In 2023 alone, IUOE Local 3 collected $64.7 million in dues and fees from its members across Nevada, California and Utah, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Of that amount:

  • $8.3 million was sent out-of-state to IUOE’s international headquarters in Washington, D.C. to support its political, economic and social agenda.
  • $2.3 million was spent on political activities and lobbying.
  • $347,153 was given to other ideological groups.
  • $302,150 was paid to outside attorneys and consultants.
  • $544,637 was spent on hotels, travel and food.

IUOE Local 3 paid 230 officers and employees, 148 of whom were paid six figures. IUOE local 3 business manager Dan Reding received $323,011 in total compensation.

Additionally, IUOE Local 3 has accumulated a stockpile of $98.5 million in spare cash.

IUOE Local 3’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018.

Additionally, a portion of your local dues typically fund several related organizations, such as state and national affiliates. IUOE Local 3 is an affiliate of the International Union of Operating Engineers, which is required to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor. The most recent report filed by IUOE’s national headquarters 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.