UFE Votes on Representation Fee

UFE Members will vote on the Representation Fee by paper ballot at the polling station set up in the SemII Cluster Support Office (SemII A2117) during the following dates and times:

Thursday April 28 – Noon-1pm and 5-6pm in A2117

Friday April 29 – Noon-1pm and 5-6pm in A2117

Monday May 2 – Noon-1pm and 5-6pm in A2117

Tuesday May 3 – Noon-1pm and 5-6pm in A2117

Upon request from the member, absentee ballots will be made available. Please email Grace Huerta for an absentee ballot at: gracehue@gmail.com

Supreme Court upholds 1977 ruling affirming representation fees

On March 29, 2016 the US Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling upholding the rights of unions to charge representation fees for collective bargaining. The ruling reaffirms a 1977 legal precedent that affirmed such fees.

See the New York Times article here.

For a more pro-union perspective, see the article from The Stand here. The Stand is a newsletter from the Washington State Labor Council. This article quotes Senator Patty Murray on the Supreme Court’s March 29th announcement about the Friedrichs case:

“This is good news for workers, unions, families, and the economy. With the lower court ruling being affirmed by a deadlocked Supreme Court, this latest assault on the ability of teachers, nurses, and other public servants to organize and make their voices heard in the workplace has been beaten back.

“The economy is only truly strong when it is growing from the middle out, not the top down — and unions are key in making that happen. When unions are strong, workers can fight for higher wages, more opportunities, and greater economic security for themselves and their families. Many Republicans are going to keep working to tilt the scales in favor of the biggest corporations and the wealthiest Americans by making it harder for workers to band together and fight to improve and protect their wages and benefits. But as a nation, we should not turn our backs on empowering workers through collective bargaining and making sure that workers have a strong voice at the table—and this decision today upholds that principle.”

Direct link to The Stand article.

UFE Outreach and Education: Representation Fee

During winter and early spring quarters 2016, the UFE stewards are meeting with members and faculty to provide information about the possible implementation of a representation fee.  The document below defines the rep fee and answers a number of questions; it is also available as a pdf here:  Rep Fee Information Guide and FAQs.  During spring quarter, UFE members will be voting on the rep fee. If you would like further information, please contact one of the UFE officers or stewards (please see our Leadership team list.)

In addition, UFE is moving toward implementing a progressive union dues rate structure, based on income, with the support of our affiliates.  Our sister union, UFWW at Western Washington University, piloted this program.  Below is Western’s model, and we hope to implement a dues scale that is similar. This would be significant for UFE, because this more progressive sliding scale would make union membership more affordable for faculty who have fewer experience years on our salary grid.  Here is Western’s Model:


For comparison, click here to see the current UFE dues schedule.

We also created a document for side by side comparisons!  You can find that here. 



What is a representation fee?

A representation fee covers the fair share for the cost of collective bargaining, contract enforcement, and local representation by the union. A fee payer is a member of the bargaining unit who has not joined the union but who enjoys the benefits such as, salary increases, equitable improvements on working conditions and grievance representation. A description of the representation fee can be found in the current CBA (2015-17): Article 26.10.1-2 (pgs. 59-60).

We are aware of the current U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA). A non-union teacher, Rebecca Friedrichs, is challenging 40 years of precedent where unions can collect representation fees from all employees covered by a CBA. (An analysis of the case can be found in a N.Y. Times op/ed entitled, “Strong Unions, Strong Democracy” at:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/opinion/strong-unions-strong-democracy.html.) Since unions are obligated to represent all workers, the CTA argues that, in solidarity, we share the financial responsibility to support unions and their work in behalf of labor. A decision on the case will likely occur this summer.

Until then, we feel it is important that we educate our members about representation fees and how they specifically pertain to the UFE. The UFE Coordinating Committee and Stewards Council support this step. Washington state employees and local public school employees have a representation fee. Faculty unions are just catching up to other workers.

Click here to continue reading the full UFE Information Guide and Frequently Asked Questions about the Rep Fee:  Rep Fee Information Guide and FAQ

See the sidebar for news links related the representation fee.