This post is in response to an anonymous commenter who asked about the distinction between fair-share and member dues and specifically why the two are now the same. Since this change is due to the last round of bargaining, many others probably have the same questions. Hopefully the below FAQ answers them. Further questions can be left in the comments or emailed to CGE, or again submitted via the suggestion box the right (though we should point out that if you use the box to ask a question we have no way of answering you directly).
Why are fair-share and member dues the same? Because OSU asked us to do it that way. In 2010, when we were bargaining with the university, they kept asking us to deduct one single amount from all bargaining unit employees instead of the previous distinction, and for almost eight months, we refused. However, when we started to get close to an agreement, they made an offer that included that process but was also a greater value to each individual graduate employee. In essence, we made the deal because each person comes out ahead financially.
Why did OSU care? OSU’s big issue was that it was an administrative nightmare to deduct two different amounts.
How can it be that hard to deduct two different amounts for dues? We don’t have an answer to this question either, except to suggest that Banner gets blamed a lot.
Why can reimbursement not be mailed by campus mail? We would love to be able to use campus mail, but OSU refuses to allow us access.
How is it fair that the union can deduct money in the first place if I can just get it back? This was the reason we refused to agree to this process for most of the length of contract negotiations. The thing that changed the bargaining team’s mind was that the agreement we reached with OSU was worth more to each individual graduate employee even after the increased fair-share deduction.. If any person hadn’t come out ahead, it’s unlikely we would have agreed to this kind of process. So though the process is not as simple as it could be, we did what we could to make sure it wasn’t actually financially harmful to anyone.