Why are dues 1%?

Most of your dues go to our state and national affiliates, who provide staff and legal support in contract negotiation and enforcement, offer expert advice in interpreting legislative initiatives, and use their lobbying power to communicate faculty concerns to the legislature, the governor, Congress, and the general public.

Many of UFF’s greatest recent accomplishments – taking a case to the U.S. Supreme Court, winning back the jobs of five tenured FAU faculty and twenty-one tenured FSU faculty slated for layoff, keeping faculty pension contributions down to 3% when the legislature was proposing 8% — could never have been accomplished without assistance from our affiliates. The bill for legal assistance for these three victories alone would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we, the FAU faculty, received these services free of charge because we are dues paying members of a much larger organization.  That’s the benefit of banding together.

In addition, if 1% sounds like a lot, keep in mind that:

  • For nine-month faculty, no dues are assessed for summer appointments, and for all faculty, no dues are assessed for overload assignments. To illustrate the effect, if you teach one summer course, your dues are actually about 0.9%; two courses: 0.8%, etc. Also, union dues are tax deductible, so if you itemize your taxes your effective dues could end up being considerably less than 1%.
  • If you take advantage of the various members-only benefits, you could end up covering most of the costs of your union dues in direct benefits, and that doesn’t count the indirect benefits that accrue to all faculty members from a strong union.
  • At some universities, union dues are as high as 1.9%, and nationally average union dues are around 1.2%. The average FAU faculty member earns about $70,000 annually in regular salary, which means that bi-weekly dues for the average faculty member are about $36.
  • Dues are taken out of your paycheck every two weeks, which lessens the sting.
  • If UFF gains a 1% raise for you just once during your career, your dues are paid for life, even before compounding!
  • Your UFF dues are an investment in your career, not an expense.

Your UFF dues may be higher than your dues for a disciplinary professional association, but do they bargain your salary and other terms of employment, and enforce your contract rights?