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Agency Fee Reimbursement Q&A--The Benefits of UC-AFT Membership


On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that agency fees paid by non-members to public sector unions to cover the critical and considerable cost of union representation, contract negotiations and enforcement are a form of compelled speech or a forced subsidy of speech that violates the First Amendment. The decision went into effect immediately upon ruling.

Agency fees that have been deducted from non-member earnings to-date have been deducted per State law.  The Court's ruling overturns 40 years of precedent supporting the California statute that authorized agency fees.  Membership dues remain intact and dues deduction per State law and our contracts will continue for UC-AFT members who have elected to support and participate in the work of our union. 

Nearly 1000 lecturers and librarians elected to join our union in the last academic year alone! If you are not currently a member, please consider joining our union today.  Our success since 2002, when the agency fee was adopted in California, has been incredible.  Our raises have significantly outpaced inflation, we've improved job security, secured $5 million to date in professional development funding for our members, defended hundreds of your colleagues from contract violations and other arbitrary management actions, and we've developed a network of informed and empowered colleagues that seeks to support new hires and educate colleagues around our contractual rights. We defend public education and higher education and we enjoy highlighting the professional successes of our members.  Please join us!

Agency Fee Q&A

What has UC-AFT done to stop the deduction of agency fees since the decision?
UC-AFT notified UCOP in advance of the decision and again on the morning of the decision that agency fees must be stopped immediately upon ruling.  

Will agency fee be deducted from June earnings?
Yes.  The decision was issued too close to the end of the month for UCOP to stop the deduction prior to running June payroll.  

Will June agency fees be returned to non-member agency fee payers? 
Yes.  In our effort to comply with the new ruling as quickly and efficiently as possible, UC-AFT has established an escrow account for any agency fees that UC sends us from June earnings. These funds are segregated so that we can easily and quickly return them to our agency fee bargaining unit members.  UC-AFT will receive a list of all agency fee payers and the amount of their deductions mid-July.  As soon as we have this data from UCOP, UC-AFT will begin issuing reimbursement checks to all agency fee payers for whom we have an address.  Please update your address with UC-AFT.

When will the agency fee deduction stop?
UCOP informed UC-AFT on June 28, the day after the Janus decision, that agency fees will be deducted from June earnings because UC did not have time to comply with the new ruling before June payroll.  UC will make the necessary changes and stop agency fee deduction by the July 25 paycheck for employees with bi-weekly pay, and by August 1 for employees with monthly pay.

What can I do to facilitate reimbursement of agency fees on my June earnings?
The best thing you can do is to send your contact information to UC-AFT.  We will mail reimbursement checks to your last known address. UC-AFT relies on UC administration for contact information, which is often incomplete or out of date when it is transmitted to us. To expedite your reimbursement, please provide a current mailing address as soon as possible.

I thought I was a union member, but it turns out I'm not.  How do I become a UC-AFT member?
It's very easy!  Please complete the online form here:
Also, feel free to get in touch with any of the local union officers listed on our contacts page or the local pages on our website.