MEMBERSHIP PROCESSING GUIDANCE
Best practice guidance for UEA staff and local affiliates.
ASPIRING EDUCATOR MEMBERSHIP & EMPLOYMENT STATUS
The UEA bylaws stipulate that a member should hold the highest level of membership they are eligible for. Some universities require liability insurance to complete their practicum or in class service. Many times, a school district will hire the student as an intern, or the student is working on their master’s while employed with the district. If the member is the employee of record and paid on the district salary schedule—they are no longer eligible for the Aspiring Educator membership and should be encouraged to join as an active member. If the local affiliate should be notified that an employee has aspiring educator membership that they are no eligible for and should be recruited.
Prorating Aspiring Educator Dues
- The NEA has a strict no-refund policy for the NEA portion of the Aspiring Educators Dues.
- Requests for UEA Aspiring Educators Dues should be made in writing.
- Prorating the UEA portion of the dues should be handled on a case by case bases by UEA Membership Team—with Aspiring Educator leadership input.
- If an Aspiring Educator is adamant that they do not want to cancel that level of membership, it should be made clear their level of membership will not cover any liability or advocacy.
When a new member joins the association, they sign an agreement for membership commitment and a separate commitment for annual dues authorization. Membership commitment is the assurance they understand they belong not only to the Utah Education Association, but the National Education Association and the local affiliate. The commitment is also an agreement of abiding by the constitution and bylaws of all three associations.
The annual dues authorization is the agreement to pay the annuals dues of each affiliation for the services we provide annually. Our membership year begins September 1 of each year and ends August 31. The authorization includes language that the member has an obligation to pay dues for the full year and an early cancellation will result in dues obligation for the remaining membership year. Members acknowledge that revoking their authorization for payment does not revoke their obligation to pay the total annual dues amount.
When a member no longer wants to belong:
Both on litigation/ liability risks and organizing considerations, UEA recommends honoring a member request for dropping membership. It can be counterproductive to strictly enforce a drop window and enforce payment of the remaining membership year dues. The UEA does not want to disparage the likelihood of the potential member re-joining our association and make organizing more difficult generally.
- If a member contacts the UEA office and requests to drop their membership in the middle of an association year, UEA will direct the member to the local association to immediately engage in drop process.
- Evaluate your local’s process and procedures for ensuring that membership drops are honored and processed.
- The local association must have a process outlined in their bylaws and policies regarding membership payment and cancellation. Include in that cancellation conversation a pitch that we would love to have them re-enroll anytime.
- The UEA Membership department shall document correspondence with the local association regarding drop requests and follow up with the local to ensure the drop as been honored.
- The local association should keep written documentation of cancellation with reason to appropriately code cancellation reason in NEA 360—but should not pass that burden of documentation to the member.
- Written documentation of the members drop should be received to the UEA office.
Prorating dues process:
Local affiliates should work with employers to clear up ending payroll deductions. If dues are incorrectly deducted by district:
- Affiliate should notify district immediately and work with them to ensure the drop is complete.
- Request for refund of dues will be honored whenever possible based on legitimacy of claim; for the UEA and local portions only and handled on a case-by-case basis. For proration of dues, UEA requires documentation to demonstrate legitimacy of the request.
MEMBERS EMPLOYEED LESS THAN HALF TIME
When setting up a membership for an employee that works less than half-time, it is important to understand that NEA and UEA have bylaws addressing how the dues are figured, make sure your local bylaws do too. It is different at EACH level and needs to be reflected in coding the membership appropriately. Refer to current year “Membership Types and Dues” page for dues configurations . NEA has a 25% category and UEA remains at 50% for anyone under half-time.
The UEA bylaws allow for proration on dues for those employed between 51%-100% but not under.
Consider how belonging might be a barrier to those who are employed less than 50% because dues would be the NEA portion at 25%, and the half time UEA portion.
LOCAL OPTION CHARTER SCHOOL MEMBERSHIP
Membership into the UEA and local affiliate for local option UniServs is at the discretion of the local and UniServ leadership. A local option UniServ should have their bylaws reflect the membership permissible.
It is the recommendation of the UEA that the member be coded under the Local Association and their school be Misc for record keeping instead of creating a Misc Local in IMS. It is the responsibility of the local and UniServ to make the member aware of the limitations of liability insurance and advocacy.
PROCESS FOR RECEIVING INCORRECT MEMBERSHIP YEAR APPLICATIONS
Often times applications are received from old membership years. With the old membership year crossed out and then hand written the new membership year. This renders the membership void because there is no longer express consent by the member as to 1) the type of membership or 2) agreement to pay the membership fee.
The UEA office needs to have documentation showing the new member authorizes you to process their membership in IMS via the correct membership year or via early enrollment. Locals should consider using the below boilerplate language based on which form we are meant to have—attach the communication to the printed application and their authorizing you to process in correct membership year before processing in IMS and sending to UEA headquarters:
Old Year Application Recieved – Authorization to Process in Current Membership Year
Dear <NEW MEMBER>:
We are excited to welcome you to <LOCAL ASSOCIATION>, and UEA. Unfortunately, it appears we received a past year application and cannot be processed without a response.
Please reply to this email with “I AGREE” and I will be able to process your membership in the correct membership year. I agree to this membership, I understand this membership changes, and I agree to pay these dues.
I understand and agree that commencing September 1, membership year <CORRECT MEMBERSHIP YEAR>, I will be an active member with all active member benefits and I agree to pay the annual dues in the amount of <DUES>.
<UNISERV CONTACT INFO>
Authorization to Process as Early Enrollee – When Regular Active Application is Recieved
Dear <NEW MEMBER>:
We are excited to welcome you to <LOCAL ASSOCIATION>, and UEA. We recieved an application for you to belong currently, and wanted to extend an invitation to belong early through our Early Enrollment Campaign and not pay dues still the start of next membership year.
Please reply to this email with “I AGREE” and I will be able to process your membership as an early enrollee. I agree to this membership, I understand this membership changes, and I agree to pay these dues beginning September 1.
I understand and agree that commencing September 1, membership year <FUTURE MEMBERSHIP YEAR>, I will be an active member with all active member benefits and I agree to pay the annual dues in the amount of <DUES>.
<UNISERV CONTACT INFO>
Missing Membership Commitment or Payment Authorization
Dear <NEW MEMBER>:
We are excited to welcome you to <LOCAL ASSOCIATION>, and UEA. Before I process your application I noticed we are missing a check next to understanding membership commitment or payment authorization. Please reply to this email with “I AGREE” and I will get your application process.
YES to Membership Commitment – I want to join with my fellow employees and become a member of the local association, the Utah Education Association, and the National Education Association. I hereby request and voluntarily accept membership in these associations and agree to abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of all three associations. I hereby designate and empower the local association as my exclusive bargaining agent.
YES to annual Payment Authorization – I hereby agree to pay the annual dues, fees, and assessments established by the three associations in consideration for the services the union provides. I understand that those annual amounts, due on September 1 are subject to periodic change by the governing bodies of the associations but may not exceed three percent (3%) of my monthly salary. I authorize on a continuing basis, and regardless of my membership status, the payment of those annual amounts established by the three associations through payroll deduction or other arrangements unless I revoke this authorization in a signed writing sent to the local association for which the authorization is set to be cancelled.
<UNISERV CONTACT INFO>
SECURING PAPER APPLICATIONS AND MEMBER DATA
The recommended method to exchange paper membership forms is mail to UEA HQ so that we have the original copy. UEA houses original applications with signatures. Exchanging membership forms or receiving any confidential membership data via email is not secure. It puts our new members data at risk; and in the event of any breach of that data the legal and financial liability will fall upon the sender and it will create a problem for ALL locals as members will not want to share their confidential information anymore.
The UEA has been using a free service, https://send.tresorit.com/ to send to field Associates for processing.