Opt Out Today


To opt out of NYSUT 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.

NYSUT is the designated union for those employed by schools, early learning centers, higher education, health and other government employees across New York.

For years, public employees in New York 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 NYSUT might 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 NYSUT dues?

Union dues for NYSUT are hundreds of dollars per year, and they differ for employees based upon wages. Check your wage statement for the specific amount.

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

Yes. NYSUT 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, NYSUT 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 NYSUT.

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 the union spend my dues money?

Public employee unions are private organizations with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members.

The IRS requires unions’ 990 tax return to be a public document, and these can be found online at sites like this. NYSUT reports using the Employer Identification Number EIN 14-1584772.

NYSUT tax return for 2017

All 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. NYSUT reports using the Dept. of Labor file number of 070-581.

NYSUT LM-2 Report for 9/01/2018 to 8/31/2019

According to forms filed with the Federal Government, in 2017 9/01/2018 to 8/31/2019

  • $134,493,842 was collected as dues and fees.
  • $134,493,842 was spent by NYSUT on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
  • $449,660 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
  • 501 employees were paid with union dues.
  • $298,841 was paid to Andrew Pallotta, President from the union and affiliated entities.
  • $50,000 New York Communities for Change
  • $43,750 Working Families Party
  • $37,500 NYS Labor-Religion Coalition
  • $8,500 Rural & Migrant Ministry, Inc.

American Federation of Teachers


A portion of dues NYSUT members pay goes to support AFT National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., which collected $178,819,789 million in 2019 and had a paid staff of at least 400.

  • $40.9 million was spent by AFT National on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
  • $6.1 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
  • 234 employees are paid over $100,000.
  • AFT national President, Randi Weingarten was paid $451,973 in 2019.
  • AFT national Secretary-Treasurer, Lorretta Johnson was paid $324,363 in 2019.
  • 254 SEIU International employees were paid six-figures in 2018.

AFT National HQ 2018-19 LM-2 report is available here.
AFT National HQ 2017-18 LM-2 report is available here. ?
AFT National HQ 2016-17 LM-2 report is available here.
AFT National HQ 2015-16 LM-2 report is available here.

AFT National Headquarters; 2017-18 IRS 990 tax return
AFT National Headquarters; 2016-17 IRS 990 tax returnThose represented by a local bargaining agent often also pay several related organizations, such as state and national affiliates, and also regional, state and national labor councils.

These organizations are less likely to perform workplace representation services, and may report to the IRS some of the financial activity found in their 990 tax returns, or to the U.S. Department of Labor in their LM-2 forms.

National Education Association

Likewise, a portion of NYSUT dues funds the National Education Association in Washington, D.C., which collected $369 million in 2018-19 and had a paid staff of at least 653. According to forms filed with the federal government:

  • NEA President Lilly Eskelsen was paid $429,569 in 2018, and Executive Director John Stocks was paid $420,198.
  • 380 NEA employees were paid six-figures in 2018
  • 42 NEA employees were paid over $200,000 in 2018
  • NEA employees with 10 years of service are entitled to 10 weeks salary which had a 2017 liability of $6,042,740

More about NEA’s orchestration of politics across the nation can be read at “Analysis: How Much Does NEA Spend on Politics? Union Poured More Than $4.6 Million Into State Ballot Initiatives