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Opt Out Today

SEIU 517M

To opt out of SEIU 517M 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.

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SEIU Local 517M is the designated union for approximately 8,000 public employees in Michigan, including state, local government, and school district employees.

In the past, public employees in Michigan could be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like SEIU 517M to take their members for granted. However, because Michigan is now a “right-to-work” state, public employees can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will.

Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME reaffirmed that all public employees have a constitutional right to choose for themselves whether to pay any union dues or fees.

You can opt out of SEIU 517M dues by filling out the form, printing it and mailing it to the union.

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 SEIU 517M 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 SEIU 517M dues?

According to federal filings, SEIU 517M dues can be as high as $84 per month, or $1,008 per year. In 2020, the average member paid $388 in dues.

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

Yes. SEIU 517M 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.

In exchange for the monopoly of this particular service, SEIU 517M is legally obligated to represent all employees in the workplace, including those who choose not to join the union as members.

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. 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, health benefits, retirement, and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of SEIU 517M.

How will my relationship with the union change if I opt out?

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 be ineligible for any special “members only” benefits, such as discounts on additional insurance, scholarship programs, or deals the union has arranged 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 SEIU 517M spend my dues money?

SEIU 517M

SEIU 517M collected $2.8 million in dues and fees from its members in fiscal year 2020, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

In 2020 alone:

  • $690,000 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. For example, Planned Parenthood received $50,000 from the SEIU headquarters in 2019.
  • $79,400 was spent by SEIU 517M on political activity and lobbying.
  • $38,700 was spent on hotel venues, including $25,700 on a conference at a four-star hotel in Lansing.

SEIU 517M paid 30 officers and employees in 2020. Executive director Jeremy Tripp’s compensation was $111,355.

Despite having a cash stockpile of $955,000 in mid-2019, SEIU 517M increased its maximum dues rate from $804 to $1,008 per year. Since then, the union’s cash reserves have grown to $1.3 million.

SEIU 517M’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

A portion of the dues paid by SEIU 517M members goes to support SEIU Michigan, a statewide political arm of SEIU.

SEIU Michigan

SEIU Michigan collected $276,975 in dues from its local unions in 2020. It received an additional $1.4 million from other SEIU-affiliated organizations.

  • $1.3 million was spent by SEIU Michigan on political activity and lobbying.
  • $9,200 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.

SEIU Michigan paid two employees in 2020. Its executive director, Jennifer Root, received $52,260.

Also, SEIU Michigan has accumulated $534,400 in cash reserves, $137,100 of which was stockpiled just this past year.

SEIU Michigan’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

A portion of the dues paid by SEIU 517M members also goes to support the SEIU international headquarters.

SEIU Headquarters

SEIU 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 includes a $398,000 bill from a 4-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: 20202019201820172016.