To opt out of SEIU Local 500 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.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 is the designated union for approximately 20,000 registered and registered exempt family childcare providers who participate in the State of Maryland’s Child Care Subsidy Program.
For years, state-paid childcare providers in Maryland were required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like SEIU Local 500 to take their members for granted. However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Harris v. Quinn, individual providers can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will.
The court referred to the requirement for partial-public employees to pay union dues as a money-making “scheme” for the union and ruled that the mandatory dues requirement violated workers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association.
You can opt out of SEIU Local 500 dues by filling out the form above, printing it and mailing it to the union.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Keep in mind:
Opting out is your constitutional right. However, unions like SEIU Local 500 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.
Additionally, the State of Maryland encourages their employees to contact the Central Payroll Bureau (CPB) if the union fails to process their opt-out request. You can learn more about how to cancel your deductions through CPB here.
According to their most recent LM2, SEIU Local 500 dues can be as high as $520/year.
If I opt out of paying dues to SEIU Local 500, will I still be able to serve clients under the State of Maryland’s Child Care Subsidy Program?
Yes. Under state law, the union contract for family childcare 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 Child Care Subsidy reimbursements from the state.
Yes. SEIU Local 500 has arranged to be the “exclusive representative” of its childcare bargaining units, meaning it is impossible for providers to get out of the terms of the contract, even if they cease paying dues. Your wages and benefits specified in the State of Maryland’s contract with SEIU Local 500 will remain the same regardless of your formal union membership status.
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.
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.
SEIU Local 500 is a private organization with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members.
However, the IRS requires unions’ 990 tax return to be a public document, and these can be found online at sites like this. SEIU Local 500’s most recent 990 report can be found here.
Additionally, SEIU Local 500 is required to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor that provide more detailed information about the union’s finances, including how much it spends on certain political and lobbying activities. The most recent report filed by SEIU Local 500 is available here. Further, a portion of your dues is passed on from your local to SEIU Headquarters in Washington D.C..
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 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 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.