Refund of excess charges for those in workplaces represented by Oregon Education Association
If you object to the Oregon Education Association (OEA) overcharging you for workplace representation, you may choose to opt out of those charges.
Each year, the OEA and its affiliates charge teachers about $900 in union dues and fees. However, much of the union’s budget goes towards political activity and other causes that are unrelated to workplace representation.
While state law allows teachers to be required to pay certain union fees, U.S. Supreme Court decisions have long established that unions are not allowed to charge teachers for “the support of an ideological cause [they] may oppose as a condition of holding a job as a public school teacher” (Abood v. Detroit Board of Education 431 U.S. 209 (1977)).
In other words, teachers can only be required to pay for their union’s representational activity, not its political and ideological expenses.
To become an agency fee payer, complete the form below and mail it to the address provided.
As a result of these decisions, any teacher has a constitutional right to become an “agency fee payer” by resigning formal union membership and paying a reduced workplace representation fee, which is less than full union membership dues.
An annual calculation by the OEA determines what portion of its budget is spent on legitimate workplace activity, like negotiating a contract and processing grievances, and what portion is “nonchargeable,” or refundable to agency fee payers. The Supreme Court has required unions to provide this calculation to agency fee payers and explain the purposes for any fees it collects from them (Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292, (1986)).
The OEA’s most recent calculation of how much of your dues it spends on legitimate workplace representation and how much it spends on extraneous “nonchargeable” purposes is available here.
Pages three and four reveal:
- 58.55 percent of your total NEA dues are refundable; and
- 28.55 percent of your total OEA dues are refundable.
In addition, some portion of your UniServ and local dues are also spent on activities unrelated to workplace representation and are refundable.
The total refund of overcharges from all levels of the union can range from $250 to $350.
If you object to the OEA’s overcharges and would rather make your own decisions about how your money is spent, then you may become an agency fee payer by requesting to pay the reduced workplace representation fee.
The union will still represent you in collective bargaining, contract management and grievance processing, but you will no longer have to contribute to causes unrelated to workplace representation.