To opt out of SEIU 503 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.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 503 is the designated union for public services and care providers, representing 72,000 people across Oregon.
In 2013, SEIU 503 and the state agreed to seek approval from the federal Center on Medicare and Medicaid Services to start forcing providers to pay union dues. Under the agreement, the state would automatically withhold union dues from providers’ state payments.
Before the scheme could be implemented, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the June 2014 case Harris v. Quinn that it was unconstitutional to require “partial-public employees” like state-paid adult foster care home providers to pay union dues against their will.
The court referred to the requirement for partial-public employees like adult foster care home providers to pay union dues as a money-making “scheme” for the union and ruled that mandatory dues requirements violated providers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association.
While SEIU 503 can no longer technically force providers to pay dues, that hasn’t stopped it from trying. The union has continued its push to get the state to deduct dues directly from providers’ pay, instead of having to seek payment from providers themselves. SEIU 503 and the state of Oregon recently argued before the Employment Relations Board over who should pay for the cost of implementing the system to withhold union dues from providers’ reimbursements.
But the union can only take your money if you authorize it. Carefully examine anything SEIU 503 asks you to sign.
State-paid home care and personal support workers are also represented by SEIU 503 and covered by the Harris decision. Hundreds of these caregivers have sought to exercise their First Amendment right to opt out of union membership and cease paying any dues or fees, only to get caught up in SEIU 503’s scheme of automatic, “forced” payments. Here’s how it works:
- The state, on behalf of the union, automatically withholds money straight from providers’ paychecks, as though it was collecting taxes.
- The union then sets an arbitrary 15-day window (in the fine print of the union membership card) as the only time during which it will process opt-out requests. This is different for each worker and is meant to be overlooked. If the union receives an opt-out form outside this window, it denies the request and continues charging fees.
- Although the fees are technically optional, the effect of this scheme is to drastically limit the chance to opt out and force as many workers as possible to continue paying against their will.
Unfortunately, the union’s recent complaint shows that it wants to apply this scheme to adult foster care home providers, as well. So far, you have the ability to freely choose whether to pay union dues or not. To be sure you don’t get stuck in the 15-day window and forced-payment scheme, complete the form and mail it to SEIU 503 via certified mail.
Remember, signing up for or renewing membership in SEIU 503 will make it very difficult to exercise your right to opt out in the future. If the union asks you to sign anything, know your rights and read carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions
Adult foster care home providers who wish to opt out of paying dues to support SEIU 503 need to complete the form above and mail it to:
Heather Conroy, Executive Director SEIU 503
C/O Freedom Foundation
P.O. Box 552
Olympia, WA 98507
According to federal filings, union dues for SEIU 503 are 1.7% of members’ gross wages, plus a flat fee of $2.75 per month. In 2020, the average member paid $625 in dues.
Yes. Under state law, the union contract for adult foster home care providers is binding on all providers in the state, regardless of whether they want to be union represented and regardless of whether they choose to pay union dues. Opting out of paying dues will in no way affect your ability to serve state-paid clients or receive Medicaid reimbursements from the state.
Yes. SEIU Local 503 has arranged to be the “exclusive bargaining representative” for all adult foster care home providers in the state, meaning that it is impossible for providers to get out of the terms of the contract, even if they cease paying dues. Your state reimbursement rates and benefits will be the same whether you are a member of the union or not.
Article 13 of the collective bargaining agreement even provides that, “no Provider, on account of membership or non-membership, shall be retaliated against, intimidated, restrained or coerced in or on account of the exercise of rights granted by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.”
While the terms of SEIU 503’s contract will still apply to you and your relationship with your client and the state will remain unchanged as a nonmember of SEIU 503, you will no longer be able to participate in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings, participating in contract ratification votes or voting for union officers.
Yes. The training is paid for by the Home Care Commission and Department of Human Services. The Home Care Commission has confirmed that its classes “are available and free to anyone with an active state provider number” and that “union membership is not a factor” in attendance.
SEIU 503 does not function like a traditional union. It cannot represent providers in workplace disputes or grievances, because homecare and personal support workers have an employer-employee relationship with their clients, not the state. The core of SEIU 503’s activity involves negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the state once every few years.
Despite its limited role, SEIU 503 paid nearly 200 last year and, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Department of Labor, collected $26.7 million in dues and fees from its members in 2020.
In that year alone:
- $6.9 million went to the SEIU headquarters in Washington, D.C. to support its massive political, economic and social agenda. SEIU regularly supports a host of controversial organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which received $50,000 from the SEIU headquarters in 2019.
- $1.1 million was spent by SEIU 503 on political activity and lobbying.
- $32,731 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $233,084 was spent on meeting venues and travel for union staff.
- $567,301 was spent on attorneys and private consultants.
- $15,151 was spent on food and catering.
SEIU 503 paid 190 officers and employees in 2020, 30 of whom were paid six figures. Public sector director Molly Malone received $128,555.
SEIU 503 has a cash stockpile of $3.7 million. Of that amount, $960,000 was accumulated just in the year 2020.
SEIU 503’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.
A portion of the dues paid by SEIU 503 members goes to support the SEIU Oregon State Council.
SEIU Oregon State Council
The State Council collected $260,701 from its local affiliates in fiscal year 2021.
- $38,673 million was spent by the State Council on political activity and lobbying.
- $10,018 was spent on private attorneys.
The State Council paid four employees in 2021. Its political organizer, Alberto Gallegos, received $79,371. Also, the State Council holds $700,900 in cash reserves.
SEIU Oregon State Council’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017.
Lastly, a portion of the dues paid by SEIU 503 members goes to support the SEIU headquarters.
The SEIU headquarters collected $255 million from its affiliates in 2020. In that year alone:
- $60 million was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $2.9 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations. This includes $410,000 donated to the Alliance for Global Justice, a left-wing, anti-capitalist organization that grew out of the Nicaragua Network, which supported the Communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.
- $2.3 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff. SEIU’s hotel expenses included a $398,000 bill from a four-star resort in San Diego.
- $26.5 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
- $150,000 was spent on food and catering.
SEIU paid 583 employees in 2020, 295 of whom were paid six figures. SEIU’s international president, Mary Kay Henry, was paid $297,126.
SEIU’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.