October 2017 Advocate: Are you a member or fee payer?


Are you a member or fee payer?

By Katharine Harer, AFT 1493 Co-Vice President & Strategic Campaign Organizer

Our union is proud that over 85% of our faculty members belong to AFT 1493, our local union. Being a union member means that you can vote in union elections, take advantage of some great perks through our parent unions, CFT & national AFT (see the Union Plus website for details of the benefits and discounts on legal, entertainment, travel, movies, insurance, and more), and, most importantly, it shows you support the work of your union to negotiate fair contracts and to protect and improve working conditions, among many other things the union does. Union dues help support our AFT office and staff, pay legal fees, pay for materials and printing, education on faculty rights, and many other things. Union members and fee payers have the exact same amount of dues deducted from monthly paychecks, so you might not know for sure which you are. Recently, we’ve examined records from the District and found a number of faculty members listed as fee payers who were sure they were members. We’ve been coming around and actively asking folks whose names are listed as fee payer if they would like to “convert” and become members, and nearly everyone does. There’s an easy form to fill out and we take it to the District for you. Your AFT reps on your campus know all about it, so if you’re curious, just ask.