The Dues Cap: Questions & Answers

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Questions on Amendment #1

Q: Why do we have to have the retroactive vote?
A: Currently the Local 88 Constitution states that there is a monthly dues cap of $65 for all employees represented by Local 88, but that dues cap was set to expire on July 1, 2009. Due to the wage freeze and economic conditions, we voted at our March 18, 2009 General Membership meeting to extend that dues cap until July 1, 2010. After reviewing our Constitution recently, however, it was discovered that even though the vote to extend the cap was valid, it was not a valid method to amend the Constitution. Consequently, we must follow our process for amending our Constitution as outlined in Article IX (Local 88 Constitution on the Local 88 website: http://www.afscmelocal88.org/local-88-2/constitution-bylaws/). This is essentially a housekeeping measure; in order to make sure our Constitution reads correctly.

Q: Will the County or Union collect back dues if the retroactive vote doesn’t pass?
A: The County will not collect retroactive dues, and Local 88 has no plan to collect them.

Questions on Amendment #2

Q: What happens if Option A passes?
A: If Option A passes, the current cap of $65 will remain in place until December 31, 2010. Then it may or may not increase, depending on whether or not AFSCME members nationwide received an average increase in wages. There will still be a cap, and it will remain in place each year, to be increased incrementally. We think that any increase this year will likely be minimal due to the current economy.

Q: What happens if Option B passes?
A: If Option B passes, the current cap of $65 will remain in place until December 31, 2010. As of January 1, 2011, there will be no cap. Everyone will pay dues of 1.4% of their base wage.

[ Click “more…” for more questions and voting locations ]

Q: If Option B passes, how many Local 88 employees will see their dues go up?
A: As of the current pay period, approximately 25% of employees represented by Local 88 will see their dues rise; as people get step increases and COLAs, that percentage will increase.

Q: What salary level will trigger an increase in my dues?
A:
If you make $55,714.32 annually, or $26.79 per hour, 1.4% of your base pay comes to $65.00 per month. If your base pay is more than that, you will pay more than $65.00 per month if the cap is removed or if it increases.
An online dues calculator has been created here. ]

Q: How much will my dues increase?
A:
If your salary is less than $55,724.32 annually, you will not see any dues increase with either option. If your salary is more than $55,724.32 annually: (A) if Option A passes, your dues would increase up to the level of the new cap if above $65, (B) if Option B passes, your dues will increase to the full 1.4% of your base salary with no cap.

Q: If Option B passes, what is the average amount of the dues increase?
A:
The average dues increase, for those currently at the cap, will be $11.40 per month.

Q: If Option B passes, what is the maximum dues someone would pay?
A:
While there would be no maximum set, at current salary rates the maximum amount anyone would pay would be $118.28 per month (see online Dues Calculator listed above).

Q: My base salary is less than $55, 724.32, but I work a lot of overtime and my annual pay ends up being more than that amount. Would I have to pay more than $65.00?
A:
No, your dues are calculated on you base salary only. Overtime, premium pay, shift differentials, lead pay and other additional pay are not included.

Questions on Voting

Q: When is the vote?
A:
We will be voting on September 1, 2010 at the following locations:

Multnomah Building |  7 AM to 11 AM
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
Oak room, 4th floor

Lincoln Building |  10 AM to 2 PM
421 SW Oak St, Portland
Nestucca Room, 1st floor

Gresham Center East |  2 PM to 6:30 PM
600 NE 8th Ave, Gresham
Blue Lake Room, 1st floor

AFSCME Office |  12 Noon to 8 PM
6025 E Burnside, Portland
Library Room

Q: I am a “Fair Share” dues payer; can I vote?
A:
No. Only Local 88 members (i.e. people who have signed a yellow union card) may vote. There will be cards available at the polling places so that you can become a member and vote.

Q: I will not be in town on September 1st; can I vote absentee?
A:
No. You must vote in person.

Q: How will the vote be decided?
A:
For both amendments, 50% +1 of those voting will decide the vote.

Q: Is there a minimum number of people who have to vote in order for the vote to be valid?
A:
No. If only 10 people vote, those ten will decide this issue. We hope that everyone who is eligible will vote.

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