Union Dues + Fast Facts

What are Union Dues?

Union dues in UE are among the lowest dues in the country. We keep our dues low because we don’t payout big executive salaries to officers or staff – we believe that if you are paid like the boss, you think like the boss. Staff cannot make more than the highest paid member of the union. 

Dues are typically 2.5 hours of the average wage a month for a full time worker (part time workers pay half dues), and are set by your local union. For example, if the average worker earns $15 per hour, everyone will pay $37.50 per month.  You will not pay dues until you have a contract with your employer that you vote to approve.

When Do Union Dues Start?

You Will Not Pay Union Dues Until a Union Contract is Signed. No Union Contract will be signed until You Vote on It. Union dues are typically 2.5 hours of pay per month. UE dues are among the lowest in the labor movement, and No UE dues are spent on endorsing political parties candidates or political parties.

Why Pay Union Dues?

By joining the union, and agreeing to pay union dues you are helping set up your own worker-controlled “war chest” to have resources to organize your co-workers to take on the boss and win improvements.  The boss has resources to keep you down, shouldn’t you have resources to push back?  A large portion of dues collected stay with your local union so that you can run your own affairs. No dues money is spent endorsing political parties or candidates.

All dues collected by city workers in Virginia Beach will go directly to a Treasurer, who is a city worker union member that you elect, who will open a local bank account. All checks from the union must be co-signed by the Local President (another city worker you elect) and the Treasurer. 

A portion of those dues go to the national union who will then provide a field staff to support you in everything you need. The National Office also supports the Locals through our various departments such as Organizing, Legal, Education and Research. Being part of a national union allows you access to lots of training opportunities to better your skills. It also brings you support of people experienced in bargaining good union contracts with the City. 

Can I be Fined by the Union?

No. There are no fines, fees, or assessments in UE. It’s typical in an anti-union campaign for your employer to scare you into thinking you are signing a blank check when you sign up for the union.

Who is UE?

The UE is an independent, national, Rank-And-File union with over 30,000 members across the United States. The UE is very diverse and represents workers in both the public and private sectors. The UE is known as the “Union for Everyone.”

Who Runs the Union?

You and your co-workers run your Local Union. All important decisions, such as election of officers, contracts, use of dues money, etc., are decided by the members. The Members Run This Union. You will decide what will be in the contract, who will negotiate the contract, what the dues structure will be, and more.

Can we Lose at the Bargaining Table?

When you bargain your first contract with your employer, you will start with everything you have now and build from there. They cannot take anything away without you agreeing to it. It is illegal for your employer to engage in “regressive bargaining” and they could have charges brought against them. You are always on probation without a union and your working conditions can change at any time. The real gamble is not securing your benefits in a union contract.

Can I be Retaliated Against for Supporting the Union?

It is illegal for your boss to fire, discipline or even threaten to fire or discipline you for supporting the union. It is protected under both the US and the VA State Constitutions and State Code. You may talk about the union on work time if your employer permits you to talk about any other non-work related topics. Let an organizer know immediately if you believe your rights have been violated in anyway.

Can my Boss Lie to Me?

Yes. While there are many protections under the law for workers organizing a union, there is nothing that prohibits your employer from lying to you. Your boss will lie to you to try to sway you to not sign a union card and to vote no. Remember, your boss doesn’t get a vote! Don’t let them deceive you. Contact an organizing committee member or the UE organizer if you have questions or concerns.

What is a Union Contract?

By law, your employer must negotiate with you, the union. When you negotiate a contract, you start with the pay, benefits, and working conditions you have now, and build from there. Your contract will depend on the Strength and Unity of your Membership. UE Contracts are negotiated by a committee of the members and can only be approved by a vote of the membership of the Union.

Are there Union Bosses?

In the UE, there is no such thing as a union boss. The UE Constitution prohibits UE officers and staff from making more money than our highest paid member. The union is run by workers, and the decisions for your local are made by you and your co-workers.

What are My Rights?

It’s your right to organize a union. You are protected under theUS and Virginia State Constitutions and VA State Legal Code that forbids your boss from interfering with, restraining, or coercing you and your coworkers in exercising your rights to organize.

How do I get more Involved?

Excellent! The more people involved will help ensure that you get the improvements that you seek in your current working conditions. Call Dante at 757-632-7866 or Charles at 757-842-3000 or contact your Organizing Committee member in the workplace.

Sign a Union Card Today!