How Family Child Care Providers in Washington Can Opt Out of SEIU 925 Dues
For years, family child care providers were required to pay union dues to SEIU 925 as a condition of employment and the state automatically deducted union dues from providers’ Working Connections reimbursement checks.
However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision in Harris v. Quinn, family child care providers can now demand that SEIU 925 cease withholding union dues/fees from their state paychecks.
The court referred to the requirement for partial-public employees like family child care providers to pay union dues as a money-making “scheme” for the union and ruled that the mandatory dues requirement violated providers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association.
You can opt out of SEIU 925 dues by filling out the form below and sending it to SEIU.
Frequently Asked Questions
Family child care providers who wish to opt out of paying dues to support SEIU 925 simply have to fill out the form above and mail it to the union at the address provided. It’s a good idea to send the letter via certified mail or a similar service that provides you with proof of delivery.
Yes. Under state law, the union contract for family child 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 accept state-paid clients.
No. Health insurance is offered through the SEIU Healthcare NW Health Benefits Trust, not SEIU 925. Even though it has “SEIU” in the name, the Trust is separate from the union. According to its website, the Trust is “a nonprofit entity that operates independently of SEIU and participating employers.” The state pays the Trust every month to offer health insurance to entitled licensed providers. As long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements listed in Article 12.4 of the collective bargaining agreement, you will continue to be able to purchase insurance through the Trust even if you no longer pay union dues to SEIU 925.
Union dues are currently two percent of providers’ monthly reimbursements, up to $95 per month. In 2015, SEIU 925 raised its maximum dues from $90/month to $95/month. The average provider pays about $350 per year in dues.
No. SEIU 925 has arranged to be the “exclusive bargaining representative” for all family child care 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.
Article 4.2 of the collective bargaining agreement even provides, “no provider shall be discriminated against, intimidated, restrained or coerced in or on account of the exercise of any rights granted by statute or this Agreement, or on account of membership or non-membership in or lawful activities on behalf of the Union.”
Yes. Under the state’s contract with the union, training and education scholarships, reimbursements and incentives are available to all providers, regardless of union membership status.
While the terms of SEIU 925’s contract will still apply to you and your relationship with your client and the state will remain unchanged as a nonmember of SEIU 925, 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.
SEIU 925 does not function like a traditional union. It cannot represent providers in workplace disputes or grievances, because family child care providers have an employer-employee relationship with their families, not the state. The core of SEIU 925’s activity involves negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the state once every two years.
According to reports the union must file annually with the U.S. Department of Labor, SEIU 925 collected $9.2 million in dues and fees from its members in 2018 and had a paid staff of at least 45.
- $2.2 million went to SEIU’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., to support its massive political, economic and social agenda. The national SEIU regularly supports a host of controversial organizations like Planned Parenthood — the nation’s largest abortion provider — which received $10,000 from SEIU in 2018 alone.
- $751 thousand was spent by SEIU 925 on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $114,320 was spent on “consultants.”
- $19,021 was spent on travel and food.
- SEIU 925 president Karen Hart was paid $132,314 in 2018.
- Three SEIU 925 employees were paid six-figures in 2017.
A portion of the dues paid by SEIU 925 members go to support the SEIU Washington State Council, which was recently fined $250,000 by the Washington State Attorney General after it failed to report making millions of dollars in political contributions.
Lastly, a portion of the dues SEIU 925 members pay goes to support SEIU International in Washington, D.C., which collected $$290 million in 2018 and had a paid staff of at least 492.
- $44.8 million was spent by SEIU International on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying, including $10,000 to Planned Parenthood.
- $2.6 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $6.2 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel.
- $264,000 was spent on food and catering.
- SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry was paid $274,290 in 2018.
- 254 SEIU International employees were paid six-figures in 2018.