To opt out of SEIU Local 509 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 Local 509 (SEIU Local 509) is the designated union for approximately 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout Massachusetts.
For years, public employees in Massachusetts have been forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like SEIU Local 509 to take their members for granted. However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), public employees can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will.
The court ruled that the mandatory dues requirement violated workers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association, and that public employees have the right to choose for themselves whether to pay any union dues.
You can opt out of SEIU Local 509 dues by filling out the form above, printing it and mailing it to the union.
*Note: State employees in Massachusetts are represented by a multi-union coalition known as “Alliance, AFSCME/SEIU,” which is composed of AFSCME Council 93, SEIU Local 509, and SEIU Local 888. Make sure you are submitting an opt-out form to the appropriate union(s). This page is for SEIU Local 509. You can opt out of AFSCME Council 93 here, and SEIU Local 888 here.
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.
Finally, keep in mind:
Opting out is your constitutional right. However, unions like SEIU Local 509 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.
According to recent federal filings, SEIU Local 509 dues can be as high as $30.20 per pay period, or $785.20 per year.
SEIU Local 509 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.
The collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union and your employer will continue to set the terms and conditions of your employment, and SEIU Local 509 is legally obligated to enforce the contract on behalf of all employees, including those who choose not to join the union as members.
However, keep in mind:
Although SEIU Local 509 will continue to negotiate and enforce the collective bargaining agreement on your behalf, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law in 2019 specifying that unions can require non-members to pay for the “reasonable costs and fees” of union representation during grievance and arbitration proceedings.
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 Local 509.
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.
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.
SEIU Local 509
SEIU Local 509 collected $13.9 million in dues and fees from its members in calendar year 2022, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
In 2022 alone:
- $2.6 million 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. Planned Parenthood, for example, received $50,000 from SEIU in 2019.
- $820,500 was spent by SEIU Local 509 on political activity and lobbying.
- $55,550 was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $555,054 was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
- $18,191 was spent on Functional Room Rentals at the MassMutual Center
In 2022, SEIU Local 509 paid 114 officers and employees, 14 of whom were paid six figures. Union president Peter J Mackinnon was paid $143,417.
At of the end of 2022, SEIU Local 509 has accumulated a stockpile of nearly $13.7 million in spare cash.
A portion of dues paid by SEIU Local 509 members goes to support the international headquarters of SEIU.
SEIU National Headquarters
According to federal filings which the union must submit to the US Department of Labor, SEIU national headquarters collected $239 million from its affiliates in 2022.
In that year alone:
- $63.5 million was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $4.5 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $6.3 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff. SEIU’s hotel expenses included a $805,000 bill from the Hilton in Washington DC.
- $36 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
- $63,217 was spent on food and catering.
SEIU national headquarters paid 496 employees in 2022, 309 of whom were paid six figures. SEIU’s International President, Mary Kay Henry, was paid $289,587.