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.