Blog WSH

Reduce Union Dues as Non-Member

Many RN’s have asked me if union dues could be reduced prior to the decertification of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.  By filing one of the forms below, your monthly dues will be reduced to that which covers collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance processing only.  The amount of your monthly dues that will be reduced is the part of the normal dues that would have otherwise gone to politics and other non bargaining activities. 

The below forms are in PDF and Word formats.  Send the original to SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and provide a copy to the Human Resources office.  After filing, you will receive an audit which determines what your reduced union dues rate will be.

The following data is from the National Right To Work Foundation Site:

Workers in non-Right to Work states have the right to cut off the portion of their dues used for politics and other nonbargaining activities. As a result of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), a First Amendment lawsuit that was supported by the Foundation, public employees cannot be required to do more than pay a union fee (typically called an "agency fee") that equals their share of what the union can prove is its costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.

Except in extraordinary cases, the union's costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment do not equal the dues amount.

If you are a nonmember, you have a right to object and obtain a reduction of your compulsory agency fee payments so that they do not include the part of dues that is used for purposes other than collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment.

The employer and the union must establish certain procedures to safeguard your right to pay only a limited fee to the union. These safeguards include giving you:

  • Audited financial information about how the amount of the agency fee was calculated;
  • An opportunity to challenge the amount of the agency fee before an impartial decisionmaker and make the union prove its fee claim; and, 
  • The right to place the contested amount of the agency fee in escrow so that the union will not be able to illegally use your money while a decision on the proper amount of the agency fee is pending.

Your right to proper safeguards is based upon Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986), another lawsuit that was supported by the Foundation.

In Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association, 500 U.S. 507 (1991), another Foundation supported lawsuit, the Supreme Court discussed the type of expenses which are chargeable and which are not chargeable to nonmember public employees. If you would like to get an idea of the types of union expenses which are not chargeable to nonmembers, click here.

If you are a nonmember and would like to see a sample objection letter that will allow you to keep a part of the money that you have been sending to the union, click here. You should also check with the union to see if it has a policy concerning when and to whom objections should be submitted. For links to union objection policies on the Internet, click here.

Correction Plan To Retain CMS Funding

Please review the following report from KOMO:

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We are hitting an all time low at Western State Hospital due to clinical incompetence that is the direct result of the CEO eliminating our permanent Medical Director who was a qualified psychiatrist by discontinuing his contract through the University of Washington.  The CEO apparently had no intent of filling the Medical Director position until The Joint Commission filed a citation against WSH.  At that point the CEO appointed someone who is NOT a qualified psychiatrist into the position, in direct and knowing violation of State Law.  The following law was violated:

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Because Western State Hospital does not have a “Superintendent” due to the fact that the CEO is not a qualified psychiatrist, there must be a Medical Director who is in charge of all clinical care while the CEO conducts control of internal government and economy of the hospital.  In our case, the CEO attempted a hostile takeover of clinical care, resulting in our possible loss of CMS funding.  The CEO cannot be trusted to make this appointment, I contend that only the Department of Health as overseers of the clinical care of WSH must make this permanent appointment.  If I were the Secretary of DSHS, I would choose to replace the CEO with a Superintendent who is a qualified psychiatrist, thus saving the State much money by performing the duties of both CEO and Medical Director while being a competent clinician.  Clinical competence is what is needed at this time.

The correction plan will be published shortly on my blog…  Staffing issues make the correction plan unsound because the CEO failed to initiate the recommendation of the Joint Nurse Staffing Committee to discontinue the practice of “absorbing” the first 1:1 (or therapeutic observation) person.  The correction plan seems to center around “labeling” a staff member as a therapeutic observation person rather than supplying additional staff as would be required by any sane approach to the issue.  The correction plan consists of nothing more than meaningless words that put patients and staff at greater risk.  The Secretary of DSHS must take responsibility for this lack of clinical competence as he is directly responsible for the current CEO and the lack of a permanent qualified Medical Director, a situation that has been allowed to continue for nearly a year.

Below is the WSH plan of correction:

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© Paul Vilja 2017