I recently received a letter from my union.
Should I sign?
Did you recently receive a letter from your union? Be careful before you sign it. You may be signing an "irrevocable" agreement to pay union fees for a full year, even if you wish to resign from the union.
Before you sign a letter like this one from your union, make sure that you are not signing away your rights to resign from paying dues.
Words to watch for or pay special attention to:
- Check off from year to year
- Automatically renewed
- Dues deduction or dues check off
- Window period
- Fair share
If you have questions about whether to sign the form, click here and we will help you.
Know your rights. Decline to sign any new union paperwork.
Public employees in Connecticut have a right to not pay union fees. On June 27, the Supreme Court ruled that public employees have a First Amendment right to decide for themselves whether or not to pay a union. That means you cannot be required to pay union fees as a condition of employment. The court also ruled that it is illegal for fees to be deducted from public employees' paychecks unless the public employee is a union member or has signed a waiver clearly allowing the collection of fees.
If you opted out of your union in the past and have been paying agency fees, the state Comptroller must stop collecting union fees from your paycheck. The first paycheck to reflect this change will be issued on July 20th for the pay period covering June 22nd - July 5th.
If you are a public employee union member, do NOT sign any new paperwork, documentation, or union cards until you get the facts about your rights. You do not want to sign away your rights to stop paying agency fees.
- If you have opted out in the past of being a union member but were still paying “agency fees,” you should now see that those fees are NO LONGER deducted from your paycheck moving forward.
- If your agency fees are still being deducted, contact us at and may be able to help.
- If you are current full dues paying member of the union, you can now resign fully from your union. If you need assistance resigning from or leaving your union, contact us.
Why would I consider resigning from the union?
There are many reasons, and they are all based on personal choices. For example, you may feel that you prefer to spend your union dues or fees on your family. You may feel that the union does not respect the diversity on political issues that are represented across the workplace. You may simply feel the union is not giving you good representation. After learning more, you may decide that being in an union is the right choice after all. Your union will continue to represent you, like it has been, regardless of the Janus decision. The point is, this is about having a choice.
What happened in the Janus case?
On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public employees can no longer be forced to pay agency fees to public sector unions. This is thought to be the most influential case affecting public employees in decades. You can see our news page for more up to date coverage.
Am I the only one who is considering separating from my public union?
Union membership is a personal choice made by you and your family. Because there are so many possible reasons for wanting to resign from the union, there are many who are considering it. After thinking it through, some may choose to leave for a variety of reasons. Some will choose to stay. Either way, you won't be alone. And remember, the exercise of your rights is never a bad thing.
It’s about choice.
It comes down to whether being a part of a public union is the best choice for your family. Some may be sending you a message that this is about “taking sides.” We disagree because we are all on the same side – the side of all Connecticut state workers. This is about what is best for you and your family. Financial decisions should always come down to personal choice.
CT Workers is a community for Connecticut public employees interested in talking about workplace rights.
If I choose to stop paying fees to my union, won’t I lose all of the security that a union provides?
No. Some things will not change whether you stay in your union or not. While collective bargaining agreements can be amended, the current contract for pensions and health care benefits doesn't expire until 2027. Likewise, an agreement made last year between the state government and unions limits layoffs of state workers until 2021.
us Supreme court rules
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, centered around your first amendment right to freedom of speech, has now given you the right to resign from paying your state government union agency fees without losing the benefits of union membership.
You are protected from layoffs
Connecticut's civil service laws protect state employees. The current SEBAC agreement guarantees there will be no layoffs of public workers through the year 2021.
Your pensions & benefits are safe
Current Connecticut civil service laws also protects public union workers' pensions and health care benefits through the year 2027.