All Unit 17 librarians and Unit 18 faculty (lecturers, teachers, and other non-Senate instructional titles) are covered by UC-AFT contracts and represented by UC-AFT, whether or not they are union members. To cover the costs of representation, state law allows the union to charge all bargaining unit members dues or fees. This rule is called “fair share”; a small percentage of your salary is deducted from your pay check each month. The use of those funds is carefully regulated by state law.

However, the deductions from your pay do not mean you are automatically a member of UC-AFT. The decision to join the union is voluntary and requires that you fill out a membership form. Union members' dues are recorded on pay statements as “UC-AFT Dues”; nonmembers' fees are recorded as “Agency Fee.” The amount withheld is the same for union members and nonmembers. Non-members may request a small, partial refund annually (the proportion spent on union activities that are not considered strictly representational), as required by state law.

Why join if you're paying the union anyway? There are two important advantages to joining the union. First, by joining, you increase the union’s leverage (your leverage). Membership numbers are read by employers as an expression of your support for the union’s work representing you, both on campus and at the bargaining table. Second, only union members may vote in union ballots. Thus, only union members have the power to decide the direction and priorities of the union, choose its local leadership (who in turn vote for the systemwide leadership), establish bargaining positions, and vote on contracts.

Your membership status is confidential. Campus and department administrators do not know whether you join, unless you tell them, of course.

It takes just a few minutes to join. Click on the link at the bottom of this post to download the membership form in Word. Then complete the form on your computer or after you print it. Some parts of the form are for University processing; leave any section you don't understand blank. (If you don't have your employee ID handy, you can leave that section blank.) Finally, make sure to sign and date the hard copy on the signature and date lines.

You can return the form by email to, or by fax to 1 510 779-5211 (please dial the entire number, including the area code, even if you're in the 510 area), or by snail mail to Michelle Squitieri, UC-AFT Local 1474, 1332 Shattuck Ave. #6, Berkeley, CA 94709.

If you have questions or comments, you can contact Michelle (510 384-6727, or or a board member (click on "contact us").

membership form.pdf84.41 KB