Posted by: Ann Corcoran | March 20, 2011

Fair share = forced union dues directly from the taxpayer!

Last week taxpayers stood in opposition to the rally organized by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) and other unions in Annapolis.  The unions were demanding they get more stuff from taxpayers.

$750 bonus to state workers is a sham!  It is forced union dues!

This is the best and clearest description I’ve seen to date, hat tip Cathy, that explains how the benefit Governor O’Malley will give to state employees beginning July 1 is nothing more than a union kick back.   From a March 19th e-mail from the House Republican Caucus (emphasis added):

The reality is that while individual state employees have every reason to be upset with the Governor and his budget, the unions – particularly AFSCME – really shouldn’t be crying foul.

Consider this: part of the Governor’s budget includes a $750 bonus for state employees. This scored him big points with the union and at the same time allowed the union to score big points with its membership. But, what hasn’t been widely discussed is that the bulk of this $750 bonus will not make it into the pockets of Maryland’s employees, it will instead line the coffers of AFSCME via the fair share charge.

The fair share charge is a product of “The Fair Share Act” which was a piece of Governor O’Malley’s legislative package in 2009. It forces non-union state employees to pay a fee to the exclusive representative of their collective bargaining unit. Who is the exclusive representative for 78% of the bargaining units subject to this fee? AFSCME! Even if you are a dues-paying member of another union such as Maryland Classified Employee Association (MCEA), you are still subject to the fee.

The fair share fee will be assessed for the first time in the 2012 Fiscal year which starts July 1. While the amount of the fee is still being negotiated, it is expected to be in the ballpark of $400 per year – more than half of the $750 bonus. According to the analysis by the Department of Legislative Services, with the bonus spread out across 26 pay periods (as it is currently designed) it will be swallowed up by the fair share fee (roughly $15 per pay period), and after taxes will only make the whopping impact of an additional $3.50 per pay period.

But don’t take our word for it, the non-partisan Department of Legislative Services said in their budget analysis “…the bonus as currently conceived will be spread over the 26 pay periods of fiscal 2012. Given the current tax structure for the average employee earning $48,500 per year, this $28.85 pre-tax boost to each check would likely result in the general post-tax range of an added $18.50 per pay period. This amount will be just enough to offset the fair share charge, hence doing little to provide a bonus to employees.”

And, AFSCME had the nerve to say “enough is enough” in Annapolis last week!

One state employee who is opposed to paying the “assessment” (that is the sanitized word for union dues!) estimated that the paycheck pass-through could amount to $18 million taxpayer dollars flowing to AFSCME in FY2012 (gee, just in time for the 2012 elections).


  1. […] And, no wonder that AFSCME put on such a show in Annapolis last week—-Maryland is about to force all state workers to pay into AFSCME.  State workers paychecks will be docked for union dues beginning July […]

  2. […] July even if he isn’t part of the union.  See my post which alerts readers to the fact that forced union dues (aka service fee or even funnier: fair share) are about to be taken from all Maryland state workers […]

  3. […] And, most of that bonus will flow right through workers’ paychecks in the form of forced union dues!  This is a union kick-back plain and simple! GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  4. My pay stub lists this “service fee” as “union dues”, and is just 3 dollars less that what union members pay to belong to ASCME. It is also interesting to note that supervisors and anyone who is in a managereal position is EXEMPT from this charge, yet contractual workers, who are not cosidered to be represented, have to pay. Thanks to this political ploy, my paycheck WITH the Bonus, is now FOURTEEN DOLLARS LESS than what is was previously. Next year when the bonus is over, I will be making less than I was five years ago, with inflation higher than it ever was.

    • I feel your pain! I am making $140.00 LESS per month with my step reinstated and the $750.00 bonus. It is absolutley ridiculous!

  5. […] It is estimated that approximately $18 million tax dollars will pass through workers paychecks to AFSCME this fiscal year, here. […]

  6. Its as if I’m paying for car insurance without ever being covered.. I work for an elected offical, and by law we cannot join a union because we are choise employees. Paying these fee’s seems like extortion. Forcing us to pay unfair fee’s, and giving us no options.. Just so you can further your own political agenda seems like a crime in its own right. State workers earn less and less every year because of new deductions put in place every year, As the cost of living keeps raising. I shouldn’t have to pay a fee for a service that isn’t being rendered to me period.

    • Andrew, I know its maddening….the only hope I see if you and others who feel as you do start to organize in opposition—-state workers against forced union dues, or something like that.

  7. […] in Maryland began reaping the benefits of the O’Malley gift to the union as Maryland begins forced union dues.  Think there is a […]

  8. Wise up Maryland State Employees! Instead of being forced to pay these dues you can donate the money to a charity. Of course the charity is selected by the Union but who cares. None of your hard earned money will go to the Union or the Democratic Party! If every employee did this they would go out of business. Go to this web site to learn how.

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