To opt out of ONA 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, and make two copies.
- Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
- Provide a copy to your employer’s payroll officer and keep a copy for your files.
The Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) is the designated union for public and private employers across Ohio, representing 180,000 nurses.
Public sector employers where ONA speaks for nurses include Ohio State University, Summity County Health District, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the Lucas County Regional Health District and the City of Cleveland. The Ohio Nurses Association is an affilate of the American Nurse Association (ANA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
For years, public employees in Ohio 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 ONA 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
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 federal filings, ONA charges dues that range from $511 to $767 per year. In 2022, the average member paid $424 in dues and fees.
Yes. ONA 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, ONA 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 ONA.
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.
Many unions allow opt outs at various times throughout the year. However, in their union membership contracts, a number of unions have stipulated certain times during the year (“windows”) when they will allow or process opt-out requests.
ONA has specified an opt-out window ranging from December 1st to the 31st. Although this is the timeframe that the union has specified for processing opt-outs, you can certainly fill-out an opt-out request at Opt Out Today any time throughout the year.
Ohio Nurses Association
ONA collected $3.6 million in dues and fees from its members in fiscal year 2022, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
In 2022 alone:
- $226,008 was spent by ONA on political activity and lobbying.
- $29,159 was spent on hotels and meeting venues.
- $313,821 was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
ONA paid 43 officers and employees in fiscal year 2022. Of those, five were paid six figures including CEO Lisa Ochs was paid $169,976.
Additionally, the union reported having accumulated $1 million in spare cash at the end of the 2022 fiscal year.
A portion of the dues paid by ONA members goes to support the American Federation of Teachers.
American Federation of Teachers
According to reports the union must file with the US Department of Labor, AFT National collected $212 million from its members in fiscal year 2022.
In that same year:
- $35.8 million was spent by AFT on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $7.1 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $3.9 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff.
- $10 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
- $211,000 was spent on food and catering.
AFT paid 385 officers and employees in 2022, 251 of whom were paid six figures. AFT president Rhonda Weingarten received $487,000.
Lastly, a portion of the dues paid by ONA members goes to support the American Nurses Association.
American Nurses Association
ANA collected $17 million in dues and fees from its members in calendar year 2018, according to reports the organization must file with the IRS.
In 2018 alone:
- $2 million was spent on travel, conferences and meetings.
- $258,000 went to legal expenses.
ANA paid 208 employees in 2018, 99 of whom were paid six figures. Former executive director Loressa Cole was paid $347,400.