To skip to FAQ’s about Resigning or “Opting Out” or The Janus Supreme Court Case, click here.
FAQs About Union Democracy and Recertification
What is union democracy?
During a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty for Connecticut’s middle class, public service workers across the state are fighting to make their voice — and choice — heard.
Tired of public sector unions that put special interests above the needs of workers, Connecticut’s public service workers are asking for the right to choose who represents their most precious rights at the bargaining table.
That’s what union democracy is all about.
What is union recertification?
Recertification is a rule that gives you as a public employee the right to vote on which union represents you at the workplace. That means that you would have the right to choose a different or alternate union by way of a vote instead of being given just one choice. If you wish to support bringing union recertification to the workplace, join us by signing up to Support Union Democracy today.
Are you saying I could have the chance to vote on my union?
Yes. If a new state law allowing recertification passes, that could mean that you as a public employee would have the right to vote on which union represents you at the workplace. You could choose your current union, a different or alternate union, or choose to forgo representation by a union.
In fact, 75% of public union members we polled believe that workers should have voting rights when it comes to union representation.
How often would I vote to recertify my union or certify a new union?
That depends on how new state legislation may be crafted. Many agree that voting every two to four years makes the most sense.
But the fact of the matter is 72% of public union members we polled believe that unions should have to prove their worth to their members on a regular basis. Therefore the important point here is that recertification would incentive unions to regularly communicate to you what they bring to the table.
What if there is only one union that represents the work that I do? Doesn’t that mean I have no choice?
This may be true but this is a little bit of a chicken and egg situation. Since we do not require unions to recertify, new groups that may wish to form a new union may not have had an incentive to do so in Connecticut.
Nearly 1 out of 3 public union members would be extremely interested in hearing about a new or different union. Another third would be somewhat interested.
FAQs About Resigning or "Opting Out" or The Janus Supreme Court Case
Can I now resign from my Connecticut public union?
Yes. Public employees in Connecticut have a right to not pay union agency fees. We can help you answer this question specifically for your situation, click Get Help Getting Out.
Note: 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 right to stop paying agency fees.
I never signed anything; does this mean I am in a union?
We can help you answer this question specifically for your situation. Contact us.
I read the Janus decision, and I am unsure what this means for me.
Public employees in Connecticut have a right to not pay union dues. This past June, in Janus v. AFSCME, 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 dues or 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 dues 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.
Why would I consider resigning from paying fees to 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 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.
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. As a public employee, you’re pensions and health care benefits are protected by Connecticut law through 2027. Likewise, the SEBAC agreement guarantees there will be no layoffs of public workers until 2021.
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 opt out of paying union fees, 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.
What is this really about? 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.