Last week the State PSE office mailed out to all members a letter containing two items, a membership card, and a membership form. This post is to help clarify some questions around both of these items.
The membership form is the new dues authorization form. The reason for these new forms were created in response to a supreme court case that will be heard later this year. The case, Janus, may change the requirements around membership and dues collection. In an attempt to be proactive PSE is working to get new dues authorization from members. The important part is that this will not increase your dues. The primary difference between this form and the old one is the two signatures. The first is to join our union as a member. The second is the agreement to pay dues in exactly the same method that currently happens, payroll deduction. The card also has 2 other sections: COPE and interest in volunteering.
COPE is a completely optional and voluntary contribution that PSE uses for lobbying for education specific topics including, additional money for wages, and insurance. We have this because we are limited in how we can use dues money for politics and as many of you know it is Olympia that impacts what money is available to bargain for. We also have used it to support initiatives such as 1351 which benefits members via changing the prototypical school model.
The second item is the one I am most excited for which is a new physical membership card. Our chapter is currently working on developing some benefits that you will be able to get by using this card but for current benefits from your union membership please go here to the states website as there are some exciting benefits there! One that I encourage everyone is at the bottom of this page a free life insurance policy. http://pseclassified.org/union-benefits/