Opt Out Today

CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000

To opt out of CSEA 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.

CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000 is the designated union for many state and local government employees in New York.

For years, public employees in New York have been forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like CSEA 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.

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.

In most 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 CSEA 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.

How much are CSEA dues?

According to federal filings, CSEA dues can be as high as $823 per year.

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

CSEA has arranged to be the “exclusive representative” of its bargaining units, meaning it is impossible for workers to get out of the terms of the contract, even if they cease paying dues.

The collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union and your employer will continue to set the terms and conditions of your employment, and CSEA is legally obligated to enforce the contract on behalf of all employees, including those who choose not to join the union as members.

However, keep in mind:

Although CSEA will continue to negotiate and enforce the collective bargaining agreement on your behalf, the New York Legislature passed a law in 2019 specifying that unions are not obligated represent non-members in the following situations:

1. During questioning by their employer;
2. During non-contractual administrative or legal hearings; or
3. During any grievance or contractual process when the employee is allowed to proceed without union representation.

If you have any questions about your representation rights under the collective bargaining agreement, do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

Will I lose wages, health care, retirement or other benefits if I opt out?

No. Under state law, a union contract is binding on all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether they are technically union “members.” Your compensation, health benefits, retirement, and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of CSEA.

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

While the terms of the contract will still govern your employment, 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.

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 the CSEA spend my dues money?

CSEA is a private organization private organizations 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. CSEA reports using the Employer Identification Number EIN 14-0479613.

Additionally, CSEA is required to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor that provide more detailed information about the union’s finances, including how much it spends on certain political and lobbying activities.

According to CSEA’s 2019 report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • $122,872,512 was collected as dues and fees.
  • $3,263,497 was spent by CSEA/AFSCME 1000 on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
  • $193,906 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
  • 346 employees were paid with union dues.
  • $202,985 was paid to Daniel Donohue from the union and affiliated entities.
  • 95 employees were paid six-figure salaries.
  • $3,052,797 was moved from dues to the political action fund.

Furthermore, a significant portion of the dues paid by CSEA members went to support AFSCME’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. According to AFSCME’s 2019 LM-2 report:

  • $180,558,087 was collected as dues.
  • $26,394,712 was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
  • $2,718,516 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
  • AFSCME had at least 550 paid officers and staff.
  • AFSCME President Lee Saunders was paid $364,669.
  • Field Service Director Don Zavodny was paid $437,714.
  • 22 employees were paid over $200,000.
  • 236 employees are paid over $100,000.