Union Membership vs. Fair Share Fee

Here's the top questions new public employees--and even some who have been around awhile--ask about union membership when considering whether to join OCSEA.

How can I tell if I'm a card-carrying, dues-paying union member?
Check your pay stub / OAKS to find out. If you still have questions, contact your human resources manager or contact OCSEA Membership Information Services (1-888-OCSEA-11).

What’s the difference between paying union dues and paying a fair share fee?

As exclusive representative, OCSEA has a legal obligation to fully represent all assigned bargaining unit employees, members and non-members alike. Non-members pay a fair share fee in the amount of no more than regular union dues. This fee covers the cost of bargaining, implementing, and enforcing the contract.

What does OCSEA membership offer that fair share fee payers miss out on?

Fee payers are not eligible for certain member activities and programs including:

Does union membership cost more than being a fair share fee payer?

No. If you are a fair share fee payer now and decide to become a union member, your OCSEA deduction will not increase when moving from fair share fee status to dues-paying union membership status.

How do I join OCSEA and become a union member?

Public employees who are employed by bargaining units represented by OCSEA / AFSCME Local 11 must complete, sign and return a union membership application card to OCSEA Headquarters to activate membership.

How do I request a membership application?

You may have received a union membership application at your new employee orientation. If not, you can obtain one by doing any of the following:

  1. Ask a local leader at your workplace for a union membership application.
  2. Submit an online request a membership application.
  3. Call 1-888-OCSEA-11 to request a membership application.

How do I submit my completed membership application?

The union's membership application form is postage-paid. Do not hand the form to local leaders. Instead, to avoid delays that sometimes result from hand delivery, please complete and return the form by U.S. Mail to:

OCSEA/AFSCME Local 11
390 Worthington Rd, Ste. A,
Westerville, Ohio 43082-8331


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