Your Fair Share Fee Questions Answered

AnswersFollowing Rob’s e-mail this month on why he resigned from his union and became a fair share fee payer, we received questions on the process involved. Well, we’ve got answers for you—check them out below.

1) How does fair share work for non-tenured teachers?

If you are in an “agency shop” district that charges fair share fees to non-union employees, fair share fees work the same whether or not you have tenure. In either case, you may resign when your contract allows, become a fee payer, and still be protected by provisions in your collective bargaining agreement. That includes earning the same salary and receiving the same benefits as other educators in your district with the same years of service and education.

As a fee payer, you still have all of the rights and protections contained in the Public School Code, including tenure and the right to a hearing prior to dismissal for cause. In short, a fee payer still has all the same protections of a union member.

2) I am in the Office and Professional Employees International Union. Does fair share still apply?

Fair share may apply regardless of what union you’re in. Look at the latest collective bargaining agreement that applies to employees like you, and see if it contains a “fair share” clause. If so, you may resign when your contract permits and become a fee payer. If not, you may resign from your union without being required to pay a fair share fee afterwards.

3) How do we resign?

First, check with your MOM.

“MOM” stands for “maintenance of membership”—it’s a clause written into most collective bargaining agreements, or teacher contracts, that lets you know when you may resign from the union. It’s often a 10- or 14-day period at the end of your multi-year contract, or an annual window. Then, resign during your designated window using a letter like this, and write to your superintendent. For more information, see 4 Steps to Leaving Your Union.