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Employment Law -- Employee

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Can I Reduce What I Pay To A Union Under An Existing Contract?

Yes. In CWA v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988), the U.S. Supreme Court found that the National Labor Relations Act does not permit a union, over the objection of an employee paying agency fees, to spend funds collected pursuant to a union security clause on activities unrelated to collective bargaining, contract administration or grievance adjustment. Therefore, you have the right to object to the local and national union and receive a refund of funds collected for non­representational activities. You must be given an opportunity to challenge the union’s computation of your refund. The union may provide for neutral arbitration to resolve your challenge, and you have the right to file a charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the event of a dispute. Under some circumstances, you also have the right to proceed in Federal District Court, just like Harry Beck did. The union is obligated to notify employees paying agency fees, at least annually, of the percentage of funds spent in the last accounting year for non­representational activities. Upon request, the union must also provide detailed information concerning the breakdown between representational and non­representational expenditures.