Local 3800 Member & Fairshare Dues

This is a basic explanation of how your dues are determined. The formula for determining our dues rate is in the AFSCME Local 3800 Constitution (the portion taken by the AFSCME Council and AFSCME International is determined by their respective constitutions).

Here's the math for a member

  • First calculate your bi-weekly gross.
  • For the example let's say a person earns $17.06/ hour.
  • That person would multiply $17.06 x 80 hours = $1364.80.
  • Then multiply that number by 1.83%
  • $1364.80 x 0.0183 = $24.97
  • So that person would pay $24.97 in dues per paycheck.
  • Note that there is a full dues maximum of $32.89 per paycheck.

The math for someone who is fairshare

  • If someone is fairshare, you multiply your paycheck by 1.55%. (85% of member rate)
  • $17.06 x 80 x 0.0155 = $21.15 in dues per paycheck. 
  • Note that there is a fairshare dues maximum of $27.95 per paycheck.

The fairshare dues you pay from each check, in general, should be around a dollar or two more than your hourly wage (if you are a member and you earn lower than the average wage, your dues will be slightly lower, and if you earn higher than the average wage, your dues will be slightly higher). If you have questions about this formula and how it applies to you, please contact the Local 3800 Treasurer. The following explains how your union dues are divided up and what they are used for.

AFSCME Council 5 Union Dues
 

What are they? Where do they go?

The Minnesota State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO, is the executive bargaining representative for all employees in your bargaining unit. Employees within bargaining units represented by AFSCME Council 5 are encouraged to become full dues paying members of the local union representing your particular group of employees. Your union dues work for you, your local union, AFSCME Council 5, and AFSCME International in a host of areas of interest and concern to you and your co-workers. Your dues also support the costs of representing you and protecting your interests in legislative bodies, from the local to the national level. That is important protection because the rules and regulations which govern your job are written by those legislative bodies. There is demonstrated relationship between the numbers of dues paying members and the benefits won by state and university employees. Dues paying membership in AFSCME Council 5 establishes power to state and university employees in protecting their rights and their future. However, only full dues paying members of the union can participate in the democratic processes which determine the union's goals, select its officers, negotiators and grievance representatives, and accept or reject the negotiated collective bargaining agreement. Membership guarantees you a VOICE and a VOTE on issues affecting you.

How are dues determined?

Dues are established by the members of each individual local union. AFSCME Council 5 is currently composed of 71 individual local union affiliates, representing six bargaining units. The membership of each local union determines what their dues will be.

AFSCME Council 5 voted to increase the per cap (per person) rate for all AFSCME members and fee payers in Minnesota and this went into effect on January 1, 2015. Local 3800 voted in November to adjust the maximum dues and fee rate. Due to the time required for the international union to approve the constitutional language and for legally required notice periods, the Council 5 increase and local increase occurred separately, rather than in the same pay period.

Per the Local 3800 constitution, the Council 5 per cap increase automatically is passed on to members and fee payers. However, due to the formula in the Local 3800 constitution previously used to determine the maximum rate paid by members and fee payers, members and fee payers in the top half of the pay scale would not have seen an increase, though members and fee payers in the lower half of the pay scale would have seen an increase. At the November 2014 membership meeting, AFSCME 3800 members voted to increase the maximum rate paid by members and fee payers so that those in the higher end of the pay scales contribute an equal percentage of salary as those in the lower half of the pay scales. AFSCME 3800 members also voted for a small increase in the percentage paid by everybody, and the rate was changed from 1.67% to 1.79% of the biweekly gross pay, until the maximum rate is reached. Many people will see an increase of $2 or less per paycheck. The maximum increase will be approximately $6.72 per paycheck. 

In our entire history, our local has not increased the amount of dues or fees paid that go to our local. The only increases members and fee payers have had are due to increases from the International and Council.

If the maximum rate paid by members and fee payers had not increased, the Local would still have to pay the increased Council 5 per cap amount for everybody, resulting in the Local losing nearly 80% of our budget. Such a cut in income would force our local to layoff our staff organizer, require our negotiating committee to negotiate on nights and weekends after a full day of work, and would drastically impact our ability to organize for better wages and benefits.  We analyzed numerous options and voted to adjust the dues and fees structure in a way that we believe is the most equitable solution for all members and fee payers.

Since we unionized 22 years ago, our collective efforts as clerical workers have:

  • Won increases in the non-student minimum wage at the University from $7 to our current $14 minimum now $15 starting wage.
  • Seen an increase in the average clerical salary to $19.63 an hour.
  • Blocked and rolled back numerous efforts by the University to cut our benefits and pay, including maintaining our automatic 2% annual step increases, which the University has attempted to eliminate in numerous rounds of negotiations.
  • Reduced a proposed 10-day furlough to 3-days.
  • Won the restoration of the Regents Scholarship for those working on first degrees.

We know that when we negotiate our contract, our wage gains for clerical workers also set the bar for our civil service coworkers who are not unionized and are not able to collectively bargain. Though we have not stopped all health insurance cost-shifting schemes of the administration, we have fought and will continue to organize so our benefits plans will stay among the best and most affordable.  We have challenged and continue to challenge the increase in high paid administration at the expense of students, front line staff, and faculty. We are deeply committed to a vision of the University that provides quality affordable education for all Minnesotans and that conducts research and service that will benefit the state of Minnesota, and not just corporate interests. In the words of one of our West Bank members, “We are the voice of conscience at the University.”

The increases that were voted on by our membership  will guarantee the resources for strengthening our local and our collective efforts to maintain and improve wages, benefits and working conditions for our members, as well as our efforts to maintain the University’s land grant mission. 

We know that any increase in costs is difficult, and thank you for your ongoing support for your coworkers and your union. The University administration looks at who are members in full and who are only fee payers. And if they see that people are not members, they make the assumption that non-members or fee payers do not care about their wages or benefits. Being a full member actually conveys your commitment to the financial advancement of yourself and your coworkers.

 

How much are the dues?

While there are minimum dues levels required to support your local union, your Council, and your International Union, the amount varies from local to local. Some locals set a flat rate for all members; some base dues for each member on a percentage of the members' hourly wage; some locals use a mix of these two approaches. What is important is that the membership of each local determines which is the best for them to meet their needs.

Where do my dues go?

The portion of your dues which is paid to affiliates is referred to as "Per Capita Tax".

1. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME International).
This per capita supports the organizational, administrative, legislative, public affairs, educational, and other related programs of this over 1.3 million member union, as well as the State and National AFL-CIO. Examples of the International's services your local benefits from include: organizing grants; steward and leadership training programs; media and publications; state and national lobbying.

2. AFSCME Council 5.
This per capita supports the staffing of local unions, Council office expenses, legal and professional costs, Council publications, and membership programs and services. Examples of Council 5 services include: day-to-day support and training of local union leaders and members; organizing activities; daily assistance on grievance issues; arbitration procession; negotiation of collective bargaining agreements; and lobbying.
 
3. The Local.
This amount is to be used by the local to underwrite the activities of the local union operation as determined by the membership.