It is time to set the record straight as to what exactly “Fair Share” provisions are in union contracts.
We have all heard it, we must pass Right To Work legislation to give workers freedom or some BS like that. Many of them talk about “knowing a guy” who is forced to union dues even though he is not part of the union. This story has been around for decades, and though it is already illegal to force someone to pay union dues, they continue to spread this lie as they push for these so-called Right To Work laws.
The fact is that many contracts, especially in the public sector, respect the rights of the worker and their choice to join, or not join, the union and have a negotiated agreement with the employer for what is know as a “fair share” agreement. To people who many not be covered by a collective bargaining agreement in their workplace, this is a clause that basically means that if you benefit from the contract, ie work her under this agreement, then you must pay a fee to cover the costs of negotiating and administering the contract. That is it.
Check out this amazing and funny video from AFSCME who explains “fair share” agreements in their own way.
The fact is we need more workplaces covered by union contracts. Workers who are members of a union make hundreds of dollars a month more in take home pay, typically have healthcare and retirement options, and most importantly have a voice in their workplace. They have protections from employers who would fire you for looking at them sideways. The union continues to fight for you, the worker, when you become sick or injured on the job. The fight for safer workplaces with better personal protection equipment and safety protocols.
I am proud to be a union member, and personally I cannot think of any good reason why you would not want to be in a union. That being said, some people still choose not to be full union members but want the benefits that union representation provides. This is why we have fair share agreements. It is a way for those who do not want to pay union dues, to only pay for the administration of the collective bargaining agreement that covers them.
Being covered by a collective bargaining agreement will mean better pay, better benefits, and retirement security. All things that every worker wants, but not every worker gets.