October 29, 2019
To: All UWUA Financial Officers
From: Michael Coleman, National Secretary-Treasurer
Subject: Notification of Dues and Per Capita Increases – 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In accordance with the Constitution of the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, adopted in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on April 6, 1946, and amended through July 27, 2019, the National Union is officially notifying all local unions that the monthly dues paid by the membership is to be increased as of January 1, 2020, by the amount of two dollars and thirty-five cents ($2.35) per month.
This required increase in dues is based on an average wage increase gained by the UWUA membership for the year 2019 of 2.97%. This average is arrived at by using the wage increases obtained through negotiations for the members of all UWUA local unions and dividing the total by the number of members involved. The provisions of Article VI, Section 1a of the National Constitution specify that the dues increase, therefore, will be 2.97% of the $79.17 Base Average Dues.
Therefore, each local union’s financial officer is required to notify the company where a checkoff agreement is in effect, to increase the dues deduction by the stated amount beginning with the month of January 2020. For those local unions not having checkoff agreements with their respective companies, you will be required to notify each member that his or her monthly dues will be increased as of January 1, 2020, by two dollars and thirty-five cents ($2.35) per month. If you encounter any problems with a company in instituting this increase, please notify the National Union Office immediately. We will do whatever we can to assist you in resolving these problems.
Also, beginning as of January 2020, the increase in per capita paid to the National Union will be equal to 50% of the monthly dues increase of two dollars and thirty-five cents ($2.35) per month, or one dollar and seventeen cents ($1.17). This will increase the current monthly per capita of twenty-four dollars and fifty-one cents ($24.51) per month to twentyfive dollars and sixty-eight cents ($25.68)
For those local unions that have the entire dues checkoff remitted to the National Office, no particular additional action is required other than to send the proper notification to the company regarding this $2.35 increase in the monthly dues to the membership. The National Office will withhold the twenty-five dollars and sixty-eight cents ($25.68) per member from the dues checkoff check received in the month of February. The checks received in February are generally for the dues collected in January or the preceding month. Those local unions collecting dues directly from their membership, or those local unions receiving the checkoff check from a company, will be required to increase their monthly per capita payment to the National Union to twenty-five dollars and sixty-eight cents ($25.68) per month when filing their January per capita reports, whether submitted in January or February.
At the present time, the portion of the monthly per capita allocated to the Special Defense and Organizing Fund is two dollars and forty-eight cents ($2.48) per member per month. The Constitution provides that ten percent (10%) of the one dollar and eighteen cent increase in the monthly per capita, or twelve cents ($0.12) be allocated to the Special Defense and Organizing Fund. Therefore, the monthly amount allocated to the Special Defense and Organizing Fund during 2020 will be two dollars and sixty cents ($2.60) per member per month.
The breakdown of the monthly per capita of twenty-five dollars and sixty-eight cents ($25.68) received by the National Union will be as follows: two dollars and sixty cents ($2.60) to the Special Defense and Organizing Fund, and twenty three dollars and eight cents ($23.08) to the General Fund.
Pursuant to Article VI of the Constitution, as amended on July 27, 2019, When the local union, regional board or joint council forward the per capita payment due to the National Union on the 15th of each month, it must also submit an accurate list of names and addresses of its members. In order to provide the National with your local’s membership data, please refer to Attachment “C” for further instructions.
The National Constitution includes a provision which would permit any local union, that feels it can pay the increased monthly per capita to the National Union and still have sufficient funds necessary to carry on the required activities of the local at its current level of dues, or at the level below the automatic increase of two dollars and thirty-five cents ($2.35) per month, to reduce its dues structure at any time after the increase has been placed into effect. A vote of the membership must be conducted in the same manner as a normal vote of a motion, by requiring that the local not put the automatic increase into effect, for this action to be in compliance with the Labor- Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. It is not proper for any local union to continue its dues at the current level, or to decrease its dues structure by merely ignoring this notification of the Convention’s action to increase the dues in the manner stated above.
If your local union eventually does take action to decrease the dues required of the membership, or to increase them at any time, above the automatic increase, when necessary to provide sufficient operating funds for the local union, please notify the National Office so that the National Union records can be properly maintained.
I would suggest that action be taken on this communication as soon as possible, to provide sufficient time to make sure that the deductions are started on time, and to provide additional time as needed to resolve any problems which may develop in getting this increase into effect.
If you have any questions, or need additional information with regard to this requirement, or any of the matters contained in this notification, please contact the National Office.
Michael Coleman, National Secretary-Treasurer Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO
cc: All Local Union and Council Presidents UWUA Officers, Executive Board, and Staff