How Does Organizing Work
Once a strong majority of employees commit to supporting the union, they approach the Labor Relations Board to have an election. After a majority of employees vote ‘yes’, management will be legally obligated to negotiate as equals with employees over wages, benefits and work rules.
In the meantime, you will form a committee of your co-workers to represent you at the bargaining table, along with a professional negotiator from AFSCME. The Bargaining Committee will distribute a survey to determine the priorities of the membership for the upcoming negotiations.
Once a tentative contract is reached between the Bargaining Committee and management, the contract will be voted on by all the union members at your workplace. If a majority votes to accept the contract, it will go into effect.
How long does that process take?
It can vary dramatically. It depends largely on the employees who are organizing the local, on how much time they can commit to the process, and how quickly they can move through the steps necessary to organize.
The time between starting to organize and holding a successful election typically takes more than a few months and less than a year, but each campaign is unique. Throughout their effort, AFSCME will provide staff to assist workers who want to organize.
Why do we pay dues?
All unions are supported by dues paid by members. AFSCME’s membership dues are 1.5% of your base pay (before overtime), and there are no initiation fees. Your dues pay for a wide range of resources, staff, services and supplies that all exist for one reason: to help members improve their pay, benefits and working conditions.
A portion of your dues is returned to your local’s treasury and is used for regular membership meetings, to educate and empower the membership, and to send members to leadership conferences and conventions where policies are set that govern our union.