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Q. How much would it cost to join the union?
Q. When would employees have to start paying dues?
Q. How do I know that the dues will be worth it?
Q. Were the dues worth it for our sister unions’ members?
Q. What kinds of things could we change with a union? (Or, what do we get for our dues?)

Q. How much would it cost to join the union?

Union members pay dues to support the work of their union. Members of TEA’s sister unions pay $8.05 per week in 2011 and it would probably be the same at Tufts. (The rate is lower for people working 20 hours or less.)

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Q: When would employees have to start paying dues?

TEA members would start to pay dues only after the first contract goes into effect. That way, members wouldn’t start to pay dues before the changes in pay and benefits start.

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Q. How do I know that the dues will be worth it?

TEA members would be involved in deciding what’s in the contract, so they can make sure that the contract is well worth the cost of dues.

Here’s how it works: After our union is voted in through a union election, we would decide together on our priorities for a contract, based on many, many conversations among our co-workers. The TEA Negotiating Team, made up of elected Tufts co-workers, would negotiate until they reach what they think is the best possible contract with the University. At this point, all TEA members would get to vote on the contract. If members agree that it’s a good contract, they would vote “yes” to ratify it, and the dues and the contract would go into effect at the same time.

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Q. Were the dues worth it for our sister unions’ members?NEOP

Yes. In the case of each of our sister unions, it was very clear that the economic benefits in the first contract far outweighed the cost of the dues. The members voted "Yes" to accept the contracts and start dues by overwhelming margins. For example, in the first HUCTW contract, staff halved the amount that they pay for health insurance every week (from 30% to 15% of the premium). This savings more than paid for their union dues, without adding in the raises that also came in that contract.

If you’d like to know more about how those calculations played out for members of HUCTW (the Harvard union), or SHARE (the unions at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center), we’d be happy to give you the details: tea.info@teawork.org

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Q. What kinds of things could we change with a union? (Or, what do we get for our dues?)

TEA is not making a list of promises for Tufts employees, for two reasons: First, Tufts employees will decide the priorities for our union together, and, while those conversations have started, they are very much on-going. And second, specific changes and programs to address these priorities would be crafted in discussions with the University administration, and it’s hard to predict what solutions would be worked out until we sit down together.

Here is a list of areas that we know Tufts employees care about, that the other New England Organizing Project unions have improved through their negotiations:
• Raises – how much, and what they’re based on
• Benefits – what is covered, and how much they cost
• Flexibility – in work schedules, and in how the work gets done
• Training, education and career development programs and benefits
• Decision-making at work, and participation by employees
• Time-off – vacation time, holidays, sick time – how much time and how they work
• Support for individual members in difficult situations
• Child care, housing, transportation support
• Work security – what happens when grants end or departments down-size

For more information:

Do you have more questions about how TEA union dues would work? We’d be happy to answer your questions – let us know what they are by calling us at 617-620-7686 or emailing us at tea.info@teawork.org.

Intro to TEA | Who, What, When | Dues | Flexibility
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Tufts Employee Association (TEA), Tel: 617-620-7686, Email: tea.info@teawork.org

 




Tufts employee Paul Ronsheim and Harvard employee Mary Person.
TEA HUCTW SHARE UMMS USW: Union of Social Workers There is no webpage for SHARE at UMass Memorial at this time.