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UNION DUES REFUND PROCEDURE

New York City teachers are entitled to a partial refund of their union dues under the Supreme Court's Beck decision and related cases (discussed below).  Only teachers who have not joined the UFT (signed a union membership card or enrolled online) are eligible for the refund.  UFT procedures require that you send a letter requesting the refund in June, 2009 for the 2009-2010 school year.  New teachers receiving their first paycheck with union dues withheld have 30 days from receipt of that paycheck to send the letter.  An updated description of the refund procedure was published in the June 4, 2009 edition of the New York Teacher.

You may download a form letter to apply for the refund, below.  New York City teachers pay dues to the UFT, New York State United Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.  One check covers the refund from all three unions.  This refund does not affect your membership or rights under the UFT's welfare plans.  Again, do not send this letter to the UFT until June.

FORM LETTER

Teachers outside New York City should contact their union to determine the refund application deadline and procedures that apply to them.
 

BECK RIGHTS

The following excerpt is from the  US Department of Labor website:

The decisions of the Supreme Court in Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988) and related cases grant employees certain rights.  Under federal law, employees cannot be required to join a union or maintain membership in a union in order to retain their jobs.  Under certain conditions, the law permits a union and an employer to enter into a union-security agreement requiring employees to pay uniform periodic dues and initiation fees.  However, employees who are not union members can object to the use of their payments for certain purposes and can only be required to pay their share of union costs relating to collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.

If employees do not want to pay that portion of dues or fees used to support activities not related to collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance adjustment, they are entitled to an appropriate reduction in their payment.  If an employee believes that he/she has been required to pay dues or fees used in part to support activities not related to collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance adjustment, that employee may be entitled to a refund and to an appropriate reduction in future payments.  Further information concerning these rights is available from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
 

NLRB NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES
 

TESTIMONY CONCERNING BECK BEFORE THE
US SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION

(April 12, 2000)

DISCLAIMER:    This information is not legal advice, and no guarantee is made by JMAP concerning the effectiveness of the form letter.  Please contact your union with any questions.

 
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