Union Dues FAQs

Service Fees

On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, et al.​
declared the compulsory payment of a “service fee” to be an unconstitutional violation of an employee’s First Amendment rights.  

Prior to this decision, service fees (also are known as “fair share fees”) were assessed on bargaining unit employees who chose not to become dues paying union members.  These fees were a condition of employment during the time that they were required to be collected.

Post Janus, if you are a member of a bargaining unit, the exclusive representative of that unit (i.e., the union that was elected to represent the bargaining unit) is required to fairly represent the interests of all employees in the bargaining unit, including those who choose not to become dues paying members of the union. 

Payment of Dues

Union dues​ are paid when an individual voluntarily becomes a member of a union.  Union dues fund various activities of a union, which may include representation-related duties, training, communication with members, and political and ideological activities.  

State employees can choose to join any union or none at all.  You do not have to be a dues paying member of the union that represents you in collective bargaining.  

If you would like to become a member of a union, contact the union to which you would like to belong and follow the instructions given for signing up to become a voluntary member of the union.  In order to be a union member, you will be required to pay union dues.  

Conversely, if you currently are a dues paying member of a union and you wish to cancel your membership, you should contact the union to which you currently pay union dues and follow the instructions given for discontinuing your union membership.

According to Central Payroll Bureau (CPB)​, if you have a problem getting the deduction cancelled, you may send a signed and dated letter to CPB to cancel the whole deduction.  The CPB requires that you provide the following information in your letter: Social Security Number; six digit Agency Number; the name of the deduction as stated on the earnings statement; and the amount to be cancelled. The CPB will send a copy of the cancellation letter to the appropriate union.  You should mail your request to: Central Payroll Bureau, P. O. Box 2396, Annapolis, MD 21404.  Attention – Deduction Management Supervisor.