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Why Become a member of Akron-AAUP?

By joining, you will have a voice in Union and University affairs: you will be able to vote for and serve as chapter officers, vote on contracts, receive AAUP’s Academe, and more. Ultimately, our chapter is only as strong as its support through membership and democratic participation. We urge you to join the Akron-AAUP and become an active member in our continuing endeavor to secure academic freedoms and maintain a thriving scholarly community.

For most faculty, the cost to be a full member of the AkronAAUP is less than $10.00/month over nine months, but the benefits are many. Compare Fair Share Fees with Chapter Dues by salary here.

The American Association of University Professors was founded in 1915 and dedicated itself to protecting academic freedom, promoting shared governance, and ensuring due process for   faculty. Were it not for the AAUP, many features of our profession that we take   for granted, many of which are now de facto standards at universities around the country, might not exist. We are proud to have a campus chapter that supports these values.

In March, 2003, the faculty at The University of Akron voted to have the Akron-AAUP serve as its collective bargaining agent. In December 2005, we completed negotiations on our first four-year contract. In March 2006 the faculty voted overwhelmingly in favor of “fair share,” which requires that all faculty contribute toward the collective bargaining services provided by the chapter. The fair share fee does not provide membership in the Akron-AAUP.  Full membership, with voting rights, is always voluntary and requires submission of the membership form.

Membership dues are 0.75% of 9-month salary. Fair share fees, on an average salary, are about 0.5%. We hope that you will choose to pay a few dollars more per month and become a full member of the Akron-AAUP.

Are you a New Faculty member?

Welcome to all of our new University of Akron faculty colleagues.

A Note About Dues for Active Members of Akron-AAUP

As was thoroughly discussed throughout the election campaign and voted on during our Constitution ratification meetings, dues for members will be in the amount of   0.75% (that’s .0075) of your 9 month salary.

For example, a member with a $50,000 salary for the 9 month academic year would pay $375.  This amount includes $164 in national and state dues. Faculty on 12 month contracts will first adjust their salaries to the 9 month equivalent   before having dues assessed. We do not include summer teaching pay in  calculating dues.

Membership Form

See “Why I Paid My Dues: an open letter to my colleagues”

Estimate the cost of Dues vs Fair Share Fee HERE.

Fair Share FAQ

Please Note: Some of the information reported below is a little outdated as it comes from the campaign to have a fair share fee   approved by UA faculty.

This occurred in a special election held March, 2006 when fair share was approved with a vote of 70% in favor. This is one of the most impressive results in academic collective bargaining history in the U.S.

We’ve posted this information here to give all who are curious a good sense of the rationale underlying and the purpose of the fair share fee.  As always, Akron-AAUP invites you to Ask Us Anything!

I pay the Fair Share Fee. Does that mean I’m a member of the union?

Get the answer here.

What is Fair Share?

Most universities in Ohio with faculty representation (all except Cincinnati) have a provision in their collective bargaining agreement that requires   non-union members to pay their “fair share” of the costs of bargaining and   enforcing the agreement. Our first contract guaranteed a vote of all members of the bargaining unit (Akron-AAUP members and non-members alike) on whether or not faculty who are not Akron-AAUP members will be required to pay a Fair Share fee for the   services provided. The vote in March 2006 was overwhelmingly in favor of the representation fee.

Why doesn’t the Akron-AAUP just refuse to represent non-members?

As the certified representative of The University of Akron’s full-time faculty, Akron-AAUP is required to provide services to ALL bargaining unit faculty members—union and non-union members alike.Regardless of the outcome of the vote on Fair Share,   we will continue to do so.  However, the quality and effectiveness of representation depend upon the willingness of faculty to support the work of   your faculty colleagues in Akron-AAUP and upon the availability of adequate financial resources. Furthermore, it is important that Akron-AAUP has the long-term ability to effectively represent the faculty.  The first   negotiation was grueling and expensive, and we have no idea what the future   negotiations will bring.  We cannot control what other parties do, but we can   certainly put ourselves on a sound financial footing to protect our rights.

What are the costs of representation?

Every three to four years, Akron-AAUP will have the opportunity to bargain a new contract that will set the terms and conditions of employment for every faculty member in the bargaining unit (all 650 of us).  As in the current contract, this   bargaining will cover: raises; promotion increments; health insurance benefits   and costs; tuition benefits; shared governance; and more.  The Akron-AAUP is also responsible for monitoring compliance with the contract and ensuring that   faculty rights are not gradually eroded.

The first contract negotiation cost Akron-AAUP tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.  And the next   negotiation may be similarly expensive.  But in the intervening years there can be other high costs.  As our sister chapters report, taking one legitimate   faculty grievance all the way to arbitration can cost approximately $10,000. The Akron-AAUP would pay for these costs.  Or there may be an unforeseen unfair   labor practice, requiring tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs (as with   the previous ULPs).  As costly as this is, it is the price of protecting all of our rights under the contract.

How much will the Fair Share fee be?

Fair Share (representation) fee payers will only be asked to support those collective bargaining costs related to negotiating and implementing the  contract.  In the law, these are called “chargeable” costs, and they are for services that benefit ALL faculty and include contract bargaining, legal fees, contract implementation, grievances, arbitrations, etc.

Each year, the   chapter will have an audit of its expenses to determine those costs that are chargeable and non-chargeable.  The state and national AAUPs conduct a similar audit of the chargeable and non-chargeable costs in their dues.  For each Fair   Share fee payer, Akron-AAUP will compute the membership dues, then deduct off   the top all of the non-chargeable costs, leaving just the Fair Share fee.  Depending on the faculty member’s salary, these Fair Share fees (based upon the   most recent data available) could range from about .32% to .6% of 9-month salary, with the “average” salary faculty member paying about .5%.  After each year’s audit, the fair share fee percentage will be adjusted accordingly, and any faculty member may challenge how the calculations were made.  This fee is less than the dues that Akron-AAUP chapter members pay, which is .75% of 9-month salary. However, chapter members also have full voting rights, membership in the state and national AAUP, a subscription to Academe, and other benefits of   membership.

Fair Share fee payers are NOT paying for membership in the faculty union, but only for their share of the costs of bargaining,  implementing, and enforcing the contract, which are services that benefit them.

Compare Fair Share Fees with Chapter Dues by salary here.

What has collective bargaining accomplished?

According to colleagues at other Ohio institutions, we have negotiated one of the best first contracts they have seen.  This contract has established a new   governance landscape in which faculty have legally guaranteed rights on over 30 contract articles.  Furthermore, the Akron-AAUP was able to protect faculty rights against unfair labor practices, leading to a 1.2 million dollar   settlement for faculty and a scaling back of unilaterally imposed changes on faculty.

Does Fair Share result in a reduction of Akron-AAUP membership dues?

Only Akron-AAUP chapter members can authorize a change in membership dues.  Dues for every Akron-AAUP member include a flat amount going to the state and national AAUP, with the remainder being for local dues. Therefore, a certain   level of dues is required to pay those fees and have money left to provide services to members.  Given the costs to date in reaching the contract, and the likely expenses in implementing a new contract, Akron-AAUP members will have to weigh these costs against dues reductions.

Will my Fair Share (representation) fee be used to  support a political agenda?

No.  Akron-AAUP does not advocate on behalf of political candidates or causes. We gratefully welcome support from policymakers or politicians who support higher education and the interests of faculty and students.  But by law, a Fair Share fee can only cover expenditures related to collective bargaining and representation. Direct support for candidates cannot come out of the Fair Share fee.

Are there any circumstances under which a non-member can be   exempt from the fee?

Yes.  Section 4117.09 of the Ohio Revised Code provides that “[a]ny public   employee who is a member of and adheres to established and traditional tenets or teachings of a bona fide religion or religious body which has historically held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting an employee organization…shall not be required to join or financially support any employee   organization as a condition of employment.”  In these cases, Ohio law requires that the employee pay an amount equivalent to the Fair Share fee to a nonreligious charity. Akron-AAUP will work with faculty who wish to exercise their rights under this provision of the law.

Are Fair Share (representation) fees tax   deductible?

Dues and fees paid to professional associations such as Akron-AAUP may be tax deductible.  Please consult your tax advisor for more information.