To opt out of MAGE-OPEIU dues:
- Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
- On the resulting page, click the link to open your customized form. You will also receive an email with a link to your form.
- Print the form. If you check the appropriate box about needing a printed version, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
- Sign and date the form.
- Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail and providing a copy to your payroll office.
Michigan Association of Governmental Employees (MAGE-OPEIU) is the designated union for Michigan state employees in non-exclusively represented state positions.
The range of activities and causes which is funded by union dues is wide and often controversial. When the union is paying for causes and efforts which you oppose, then it is controlling your voice. Many are uncomfortable with this. A recent court decision reaffirmed that you have the final say about what causes you fund.
“States and public-sector unions may no longer extract [funds] from nonconsenting employees. . . . This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue.” (Janus v. AFSCME, 2018).
Consequently, public employees may decline to pay these private organizations without losing their jobs or employer-provided benefits.
The best way to ensure the deductions stop is to submit a request to the union in writing.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
According to its membership form, MAGE-OPEIU collects $28.97 biweekly. That amounts to about $750 in dues per year.
Yes. MAGE-OPEIU 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, MAGE-OPEIU 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.
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 MAGE-OPEIU.
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.
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.
According to federal filings the union must submit with the IRS, MAGE-OPEIU collected $940,500 in dues and fees from its members in fiscal year 2019.
In that year:
- At least $13,900 was spent on lobbying and political activities.
- $24,400 was spent on travel for union staff.
- $4,100 was spent on union conferences and meetings.
MAGE-OPEIU paid at least seven officers and employees in calendar year 2018, two of whom were paid six figures. MAGE-OPEIU labor relations director John Detizio received $114,007.
Also, as of mid-2019, the union holds $834,700 in spare cash.
A portion of the dues paid by MAGE-OPEIU members goes to support the OPEIU headquarters in New York City.
According to federal filings the union must submit with the US Department of Labor, the OPEIU headquarters collected $16.3 million from local affiliated unions in fiscal year 2022.
- $203,719 was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $150,809 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $21,314 was spent on travel for union staff.
- $527,079 was spent on attorneys and private consultants.
The OPEIU headquarters paid 47 employees in 2022, 18 of whom were paid six figures. OPEIU president Richard Lanigan was paid $372,365.