I hear the legislature is only targeting the teacher’s union and not so much CU or ProTech. So, I’m okay, right?
No. SB 256 applies to ALL public sector unions except police and fire unions who are explicitly exempt. All three of our bargaining unit are under attack!
What is "density" in this case?
When we talk about density, we mean the percentage of dues paying union members compared with all of the individuals in the bargaining unit eligible to join the union. It is one way to talk about the number of paying members in our union.
Even if the union isn’t certified to bargain I'll still have my contract, right? I signed it so it is my contract, isn't it?
No. Our contract is between each bargaining unit and the school district. You are covered by the contract as a member of a covered bargaining unit (either CTA, CU, or ProTech). If the bargaining unit is dissolved the contract no longer exists.
Can I just join another union? Maybe CWA that has the bus drivers and trades will allow us to join them.
No. PERC defines EXACTLY which job titles belong to each bargaining unit within each union. Adding new job titles to an existing unit is a lengthy legal process and the district can object to any potential new job title the union wants to include. There are rules about "community of interests" etc., so it is not just a question of joining a different union.
Can I stay a member of FEA/NEA/AFT (state and national affiliates) if we lose our local bargaining unit?
Maybe. You are a member of a local union and that is what gives you membership in the state and national organizations. You should also know you may remain a member of EASL even if we were to be decertified at some point, allowing us to speak on your behalf as any professional association may, until we complete the recertification process. Remaining a member of EASL may also make it easier to complete the steps to negotiating or restoring our contract after we are recertified.
That said, we have no intention of losing a single contract, bargaining unit, or member.
We are all in this one together, and we sink or swim together.
We’ve rallied at the state capitol before. Are we going to do that again?
The governor signed an Executive Order that nobody may rally or protest in or on the capitol grounds unless it is in support of his agenda or furthers the interests of the state. So a rally is out right now. Besides, right now our focus is on the things we need to do if SB256/HB1445 passes, which we believe it will (HB256 has passed). Honestly eDues deduction are not a bad thing; the issue is being forced to make the conversion, and to make it on such a short timeline, and not allowing members to choose how they want to pay their dues.
Why are we moving away from district dues deduction? It is simple and I like it. I don't want to switch.
The real reason we are moving, at least in such a time shortened manner, is because the Florida Legislature passed a law stripping us of the right to decide for ourselves how to spend our paychecks and how to pay our union dues. However there are some good reasons to move over to a system that we, not our employer, controls. One is that our employer will no longer know who is and is not a member of the union. The changes are meant to be a punishment to unions, but we will show them that we are stronger than they think and make it work for us.
Is eDues safe to use? Is my banking information safe?
Yes. We have partnered with the National Education Association (NEA) one of our national affiliates and will be using their eDues system. The eDues concept started in 2011 with the development of the MSFM2000 – eDues form. The current eDues system is in use by 33 state affiliates and their local unions, and in that time and across several hundred locals there have been no major security breaches. The eDues system has also being vetted through the Office of the General Council at NEA for safety and security of all of our members’ information.
What types of accounts can I use? Which is preferred?
You are able to use either a checking or savings account for eDues. There is no preference between checking or savings accounts, but we highly recommend using the same account that you have your paycheck direct deposited into. We have scheduled dues deductions for the same day as your paychecks are deposited.
What will I need to enroll in eDues?
To enroll in eDues you will need 4 things:
- Your NEA Member number. (We will be delivering these to your worksite leaders or your school mailboxes over the next few weeks)
- Your Bank’s Routing Number
- Your Account Number
- This link to the eDues sign-up site: https://edues.nea.org/eDues/righthere.jsp
For more information, you can visit our eDues page at: https://easl3616.org/edues/
What happens if I don't switch to the eDues system?
With no alternative way to pay your dues, you will lose your membership in our union.
I don't have a bank account, what do I do?
If you do not currently have a bank account, there are several options for you. One option: our Union partner, Suncoast Credit Union, has a plan for an account for direct deposit that you can use for eDues. Our contract calls for direct deposit of paychecks (and has for several years) and you will be able to do direct deposit to this account without any extra charges.
I switched banks and will have a paper check instead of direct deposit for one paycheck. I also need to switch my banking information.
You will be able to change your bank information by logging into the eDues system and providing your new banking information the same way as when you originally enrolled in eDues. Whether or not you receive a paper check will not impact your dues debit – although you will need to be sure you have the funds available to cover the ACH deduction.
How much will it cost to use eDues?
There is no charge to our members to use eDues. However, please be aware if a deduction is returned or fails, there will be a fee charged by the bank (this is not a fee your charged by your union)
Can I use a credit card or debit card?
What happens if a payday changes during the year?
Paydays rarely change, and normally when they do change it is due to an emergency like a hurricane. In these cases, the payday is earlier than scheduled. The dues deduction will normally occur as originally scheduled.
Will it "look" different than how I pay dues now?
Your dues payments should be the close to the same. We have scheduled our deductions to coincide with our paydays. There is going to be one change from the current payroll deduction system:
Due to how the eDues system must be set up, our dues cannot be deducted on our paydays. Basically, we are unable to make double deductions or make deductions in July or August.
This means members will not see deductions in July or August, and 10- and 11- month employees will not see “double” deductions when they receive their double checks in June once eDues begins making your deductions on September 1, 2023 (we will still be on the current payroll deduction system until July 1this summer).
This change from 24 to 21 dues deductions will have the following impacts:
- Members will see the amount of their deduction increase between $2.09 and $4.17 for each deduction. This is not an increase in your dues. It is the same total dues amount, but your dues will now be now divided over fewer checks (21 instead of 24)
- The good news is that members will see NO deductions over the summer months beginning in June 2024 and beyond. In addition, our 10-month and 11-month members will still see double checks at the end of the year but with only a single deduction for each payday – leaving more cash-in-pocket going into the summer.
- Returning to work after the summer most members will also see more cash in their first paycheck in August – the first dues deduction will not occur until September 1st (for the August 31st paycheck
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