Opt Out Today


To opt out of PROTEC 17 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 PROTEC17 at the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.

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Professional and Technical Employees Local 17 (PROTEC17) represents approximately 9,000 public employees across Washington and Oregon.

For years, city employees were required to pay union dues to PROTEC17 as a condition of employment and the city automatically deducted union dues from workers’ paychecks.

However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), city employees can now demand that PROTEC17 cease withholding union dues/fees 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.

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 PROTEC 17 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 PROTEC17 dues?

PTE Local 17 dues for City of Portland employees are currently 0.85% percent of your wages/salary. The average PROTEC17 member pays several hundred dollars in dues per year.

If I stop paying dues to the union, will I still receive the same wages and benefits specified in PROTEC17's contract with the City of Portland?

Yes. PROTEC17 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 PROTEC 17 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 PROTEC17 spend my dues money?

PROTEC17 collected $5.3 million in dues and fees from its members in 2018, according to reports the union must file with the IRS. In that year alone:

  • $216,852 was paid in legal fees.
  • $137,570 was spent on conferences and meetings.
  • $9,020 was spent on travel for union staff.

PROTEC17 paid 17 officers and employees in 2018, 11 of whom were paid six figures. Executive director Amy Bowles received $215,238.

The union also holds $5.8 million in cash reserves, of which $766,000 was accumulated in 2018.

PROTEC17’s most recent IRS 990 forms are available here: 2018, 2017, 2016.