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Notice of Membership Rights

The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY (PSC) congratulates you on your job at the Research Foundation and welcomes you to a unionized workplace. The PSC and the Research Foundation have negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that covers your wages, hours and other terms and conditions of your job. This agreement contains a union security clause that requires that, after 30 days, all covered employees, including yourself, become and remain members of the Union and pay dues or pay an agency fee to the Union as a condition of continued employment.

The officers, representatives and other members of the PSC strongly urge you to become and remain an active member of the Union. As a member you will have all of the benefits and privileges of membership, including the right to participate fully in the internal activities of the Union. Only members can attend and participate in membership meetings and help to develop the contract proposals for the collective bargaining agreement that covers your wages, benefits and working conditions, as well as vote to ratify your contract or to go on strike. Only members can nominate and elect officers of the Union, and only members can run for Union office. Most important, the more members we have in the Union, the greater our bargaining strength will be in contract negotiations. It is in your interest to become and remain a dues-paying member of this Union.

You have a right to be a non-member. If you choose not to join the Union, you are still required to pay an “agency fee” equivalent to the dues paid by all union members. If you are or become a non-member, you may object to the use of fees to fund Union activities of an ideological nature not directly related to the Union’s duties as your bargaining representative, in which case you will pay a reduced agency fee rate.  If you do not want to become a member, you should sign an agency fee authorization card (for paycheck deduction) or pay the agency fee directly to the union. Contact the PSC membership department at 212-354-1252 or [email protected] for an agency fee authorization card.

Your objection must be in the form of a letter mailed to: Membership Department, PSC/CUNY, 61 Broadway, Ste. 1500, New York, NY 10006.  The letter should say you object to that portion of your agency fee spent on activities of an ideological nature and must include your full name, mailing address, and your employer’s name. Your objection will be treated as continuing in nature unless you 1) withdraw your objection, 2) become a union member, or 3) leave RF employment. Should you wish to discontinue this status, you may do so at any time by contacting the Union. Current members who resign from the Union may file letters of objection within 30 days of such resignation.

The portion of your agency fee for which objectors may be charged includes those expenses that the Union incurs for the negotiation, administration and enforcement of the collective bargaining agreement, including the investigation and processing of grievances, union administration and other related expenses. Those expenditures that are “non-chargeable” are identified as expenditures for activities not germane to the Union’s duty as your bargaining representative, such as expenditures for donations to coalition partners and legislative activities. If you object, you will be informed in writing of the basis of the calculation of your reduced agency fee rate and the procedures for challenging these calculations through voluntary final and binding arbitration.

We strongly encourage you to recognize the importance of all the expenses that the Union incurs on your behalf in the continuing struggle to improve your working conditions and job security. While it is your legal right to be a nonmember and to object to paying a portion of the agency fee, doing so is not in the collective interest of you and your co-workers. Before choosing fee payer status over the benefits of full Union membership, read this notice carefully and be aware of the benefits that you will be giving up. Also, if you have questions about the benefits of union membership or the rights of agency fee payers, please contact Jessica Varrone at 212-354-1252 or [email protected].

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