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OSEA

How Classified School Employees in Oregon Can Opt Out of OSEA Dues

For years, classified school employees in Oregon were required to pay union dues to the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) as a condition of employment and the district automatically deducted union dues from workers’ paychecks.

However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), classified school employees can now demand that the OSEA cease withholding union dues from their paychecks.

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.

You can opt out of OSEA dues by filling out the form below, printing it and mailing it to the OSEA.

To opt out of OSEA dues:

  1. Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
  2. On the next 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 below, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
  4. Sign and date the form.
  5. Mail the completed form to the OSEA at the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
  • We will not contact you unless you choose to receive updates from us
  • e.g. Portland Public Schools, Salem-Keizer School District, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the OSEA to stop deducting dues from my paychecks?

Completing the form above will generate a letter you can send to the OSEA to resign your formal union membership and cease paying dues.

Send a signed copy of your letter to:

Rick Shidaker, Executive Director
Oregon School Employees Association
4735 Liberty Rd. S
Salem, OR 97302

We highly recommend sending the letter via certified mail so you have proof of delivery. Keep a copy of the letter and your certified mail receipt for your reference.

How much are OSEA dues?

According to federal filings, the union’s dues in 2017 were 1.8 percent of your salary per month. The average classified school employee paid between $400 and $500 in OSEA dues last year.

If I stop paying dues to the union, will I still receive the same wages and benefits specified in the OSEA's contract with my employer?

Yes. The OSEA 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.

Does opting out affect my pension?

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, benefits and conditions of employment are all set by the contract and will remain unchanged regardless of whether you are technically a union member and regardless of whether you choose to pay union dues.

Will the union stop helping me with workplace issues?

The union has been recognized by the state as the “exclusive representative” of all members of the bargaining unit, whether formal union members or not. In return for the monopoly on this particular service, unions have a corresponding legal duty to provide fair representation.

How will my relationship with the union change if I resign my membership in the OSEA and stop paying dues?

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 likely be ineligible for certain “members only” benefits, such as discounts on additional insurance or deals the union has arranged with businesses, if any. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.

How does the OSEA spend my dues money?

The IRS requires unions to annually file a form 990 tax return. These are public documents and can be found online at sites like the Foundation Center.

A few public sector unions are required to file an LM-2 report with the U.S. Department of Labor. They can be viewed at the U.S. DOL union search page.