To opt out of WPEA 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 requesting 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.
Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA) is the designated union for certain state employees, community college employees and some library district employees. Currently, WPEA represents approximately 4,500 workers in Washington State.
For years, public employees in Washington 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). 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.
It is important to know that WPEA 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Yes. WPEA is the union designated to represent employees 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, WPEA 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 WPEA.
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. Other 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 contrary to many religious beliefs. 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.
According to the union’s membership form, WPEA dues are 1.25% of members’ base pay.
WPEA collected $2.5 million in dues and fees from its members during the fiscal year ending in mid-2020, according to reports the union must file with the IRS.
During the same fiscal year:
- $693,114 went to the UFCW international headquarters in Washington, D.C., to support its massive political, economic and social agenda.
- $119,136 was spent on travel for union staff.
- $30,933 was spent on private consultants and attorneys.
- $34,085 was spent on conferences and meetings.
WPEA paid at least 14 officers and employees during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. WPEA president Kent Stanford’s compensation was $103,441.
As of mid-2020, the union has accumulated a cash stockpile of $900,000.
A portion of the dues paid by WPEA members goes to support the UFCW international headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The UFCW headquarters collected $210 million from local affiliated unions in 2022.
- $11 million was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $1.3 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
- $4.9 million was spent on hotels, venues, and travel, including a $422,607 expense for a board meeting at a four-star hotel in New Orleans, LA.
- $2.8 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
In 2022, UFCW headquarters paid 429 employees, 145 of whom were paid six figures. UFCW international president Anthony Perrone was paid $315,019.