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SEIU Local 1

How Public Employees Can Opt Out of Dues and Fees for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1

SEIU local 1 is the designated union for many janitors, security officers, and other service workers employed in the midwest including Talmedge City Schools, City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools, Medina County and other local government employees.

For years, public employees in Ohio 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, 2018).

“States and public-sector unions may no longer extract [funds] from nonconsenting employees.  . . . This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue.”

Consequently, public employees may decline to pay these private organizations without losing their jobs or employer-provided benefits.

It is important to know that SEIU Local 1 may continue to automatically withhold dues from employees’ pay even if they never signed up for membership in the first place. The best way to ensure the deductions stop is to submit a request to the union in writing.

To stop the union from deducting dues from your pay:

  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, and make two copies.
  5. Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
  6. Provide a copy to your employer’s payroll officer and keep a copy for your files.
  • We will not contact you unless you choose to receive updates from us

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.

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 couple paychecks after you submit your resignation request.

Some unions have tricked employees into signing membership forms with fine print waiving their right to resign except during a short annual window period. If the union claims you signed such a form and therefore cannot cancel the dues deductions from your pay, ask to be provided with documentation that you ever signed such an agreement.

SEIU Local 1 uses such a scheme, but litigation is underway which would block these unfair practices and potentially provide refunds to those for whom the union refuses to end deductions, so resignations should be submitted when you have decided and save the documentation of your dated letter of resignation.

How much are SEIU Local 1 dues?

Union dues for SEIU Local 1 are 2.5 of salary and as high as $102.55 per year.

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

Yes. SEIU Local 1 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 Local 1 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.

Will I lose wages, health care, retirement or other benefits if I opt out?

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 Local 1.

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

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.

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 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.

How does the union spend my dues money?

Public employee unions are private organizations with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members.

The IRS requires unions’ 990 tax return to be a public document, and these can be found online at sites like this. SEIU Local 1 reports using the Employer Identification Number EIN 36-0899855.

SEIU Local 1 tax return for 2017

https://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/360/360899855/360899855_201712_990O.pdf

All private-sector unions, and some public sector unions, are obligated to report financial information to the U.S. Dept. of Labor in an annual LM-2 report which can be found here. SEIU Local 1 reports using the Dept. of Labor file number of 023-715.

SEIU Local 1 LM-2 Report for 01/01/2019 to 12/31/2019

According to forms filed with the Federal Government, in 2017 01/01/2019 to 12/31/2019

  • $29,215,795 was collected as dues and fees.
  • $1,520,135 was spent by SEIU Local 1 on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying
  • $176,423 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
  • $247,890 was paid to Thomas Banaloff from the union and affiliated entities.
  • 23 were paid six-figure salaries.
  • $700,000 moved from dues to the Political Action Committee.
  • $8,820 given to Missouri Jobs with Justice.
  • $5,000 given to the National Education Association Missouri.
  • $10,000 given to for Voices for Sustainable Future.
  • $10,000 given to Arise Chicago.

 

Those represented by a local bargaining agent often also pay several related organizations, such as state and national affiliates, and also regional, state and national labor councils.

These organizations are less likely to perform workplace representation services, and may report to the IRS some of the financial activity found in their 990 tax returns, or to the U.S. Department of Labor in their LM-2 forms.

A portion of dues SEIU local 1 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.

SEIU International’s 2019 LM-2 report is available here.
SEIU International’s 2018 LM-2 report is available here.
SEIU International’s 2017 LM-2 report is available here.
SEIU International’s 2016 LM-2 report is available here.