The Executive Council of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT approved the AFT Member Engagement Resolution on October 13, 2015, meaning that our local union supports the effort to engage members and discuss the value of having a union. Delegates to the national American Federation of Teachers (AFT) approved this resolution. Here is information online that provides background: http://www.aft.org/resolution/member-engagement
The key provision of this AFT member engagement resolution:
RESOLVED, that our union will double the number of member activists to 10 percent, triple the number of members who engage in any union activities to 70 percent, and—in this our 100th year—reach out and speak to 100 percent of our members. And while less than 10 percent of those we represent are agency fee payers, we will reach all of them, with the goal of their choosing to have their voices heard as union members.
An excerpt from the background section:
"We know that when unions were at their strongest, the middle class was at its height. And today, even with the sharp decline in union density, union members make 28 percent more than nonunion workers.
Corporate-backed politicians want to preserve the status quo and, understanding that unions give working people power, have launched an all-out assault on unions—from statehouses to courthouses. Presently, they are trying to overturn 40 years of legal precedent, challenging the right of public sector workers to organize and raise wages and challenging our unions wherewithal to operate.
Our affiliates also understand that we only succeed through collective power. Thus, we are engaging our communities, advancing proven solutions, and organizing and mobilizing members to repel those attacks and grow a strong middle class."
New Jersey State Labor Law contains an "agency fee" provision, which we call the "representation fee." Public employees working for an employer where a union has won a vote to become the recognized collective bargaining agent for a group of employees are required by law to pay a fee for the basic services that the union is legally recognized to deliver; namely, collective negotiations on working conditions and contract enforcement. A union is required to represent all employees fairly regardless of membership; however, full dues-paying members are the key to the strength of the faculty to negotiate with the employer and actually achieve the improvements in basic working conditions and face the on-going challenges in the effort to defend quality public higher education.