Are you dissatisfied with your public sector union representation? If so, you have the power to resign your membership without paying a compulsory fee to a union you don't support.
In the June 2018 court decision Janus v. AFSCME, the United State Supreme Court struck down union agency fees as unconstitutional–meaning non-union public sector workers are no longer forced to pay union fees to keep their jobs.
If you are a current union member, use the pointers below to guide you through the resignation process, or follow a simple three-step process at Americans for Fair Treatment.
- Generally, by Supreme Court precedent, you may resign union membership at any time. However, Pennsylvania’s Public Employe Relations Act allows all public employee unions to include a “maintenance of membership” clause that limits when members may resign. Check your union’s contract (“collective bargaining agreement”) for details regarding “maintenance of membership.” It frequently includes a 15-day resignation period prior to your contract’s expiration.
- You may be able to resign outside your permitted resignation period, yet the union may continue to deduct full membership dues from your paycheck until the expiration of the contract.
- If your contract is expired, the union may still expect you to resign before the expiration of the last contract. In addition to consulting your contract, check your union enrollment form for a paragraph, usually above your signature, explaining how and when to resign. Typically, you will be required to submit written notice to your employer and union via certified mail.
- For a smooth exit, follow the resignation steps outlined in your union contract and submit your resignation letter during the “maintenance of membership” period, keep a copy of the letter for your records, and request a return receipt.