How State, County and College Employees Can Opt Out of Dues and Fees for Michigan State Employees Association
The Michigan State Employees Association (MSEA), AFSCME Local 5, is the designated public sector union for primarily state, but also county and university employees.
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.
To stop the union from deducting dues from your pay:
- 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.
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.