To opt out of SEIU 521 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.
- 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) Local 521 represents over 30,000 public sector workers throughout California, including in San Mateo, Montererey, Alpine, Fresno, and Inyo counties.
For years, public employees in California 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, 585 US (2018)
The decision found,
“The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them. Accordingly, neither an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”
Consequently, public employees may decline to pay these private organizations without losing their jobs or employer-provided benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should receive an 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 paycheck or two after you submit your resignation request.
Contact us for assistance if for some reason the union refuses to process your dues cancellation request.
According to federal filings, SEIU 521 dues are 1.45% to 1.5% of members’ salaries. While the minimum rate is $97.80 per year, the average member paid $907.61 in 2020.
Yes. SEIU 521 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, SEIU 521 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 SEIU 521.
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 on causes like abortion advocacy and attacks on values. Additionally, the core union philosophy of conflict, oath-breaking, disrespect and greed also can be perceived as contrary to many religious beliefs. To learn more about the major public unions’ expenditures in light of common faith beliefs click here.
SEIU Local 521
SEIU 521 collected $29.5 million in dues and fees from its members in calendar year 2020, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
In 2020 alone:
- $6.1 million went to SEIU’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to support its massive political, economic and social agenda. The national organization regularly supports a host of controversial organizations.
- $955,000 was spent by SEIU 521 on political activity and lobbying.
- $52,000 was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff.
- $954,000 was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
- $32,000 was spent on food and catering.
SEIU 521 paid 135 officers and employees in 2020, 18 of whom were paid six figures. SEIU 521 internal organizer Ramona Faucette was paid $160,000.
Although it had a stockpile of $3.8 million in spare cash at the beginning of the year, the average amount that members paid in dues jumped from $848 in 2019 to $908 in 2020. By the end of 2020, SEIU 521’s cash reserves grew to $5.4 million.
SEIU 521’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.
A portion of the dues paid by SEIU 521 members goes to support the SEIU State Council.
SEIU California State Council
SEIU California collected $12.1 million from its members in 2020.
In 2020 alone:
- $14.9 million was spent by SEIU California on political activity and lobbying.
- $95,000 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
SEIU California paid 34 officers and employees in 2020, 22 of whom were paid six figures. SEIU California director Steve Robinson was paid $240,000.
SEIU California’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.
Lastly, a portion of the dues paid by SEIU 521 members also goes to support the national headquarters of SEIU.
SEIU National Headquarters
The SEIU national 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 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 national headquarters paid 583 employees in 2020, 295 of whom were paid six figures. SEIU international president Mary Kay Henry was paid $297,126.
SEIU National Headquarters’ most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.