An injury to one is an injury to all

BMWE Statement Concerning Fee Objections

An Agency Fee Payer may object to fees being used for purposes unrelated to collective bargaining. However, he or she must comply with the procedures established in Article XXV of the Grand Lodge Constitution and By-Laws, as follows:

Article XXV

Statement Of Law and Procedures Concerning Fee Objections

Sec. 1. An individual residing in the United States who is represented by the Brotherhood, and who has elected to become an agency fee payer may become an objector to expenditures not related to collective bargaining, contract administration, or other chargeable expenditures. An agency fee payer who elects to become an objector through these procedures, shall pay a reduced fee calculated in accordance with Section 5 of Article XXV.

Sec. 2. To become an objector, an employe represented by the Brotherhood shall notify the Grand Lodge Secretary-Treasurer of his or her objection in a separate envelope by certified mail postmarked during the month of April each year. An employee who desires to object but was unable to make a timely objection because he or she was not subject to a Union Shop Agreement in April must make an objection within thirty (30) days after becoming subject to Union Shop obligations and receiving notice of these procedures. The mailing cost shall be reimbursed. The objection shall be signed and shall contain the objector's current home address and Local Lodge number, if known. The objector shall keep the Brotherhood informed of any change in address. Objections may only be made by individual employes; no petition objections will be honored. An employee who wishes to continue an objection in a subsequent twelve (12) month period shall provide notice of his or her objection each April in the same manner.

Sec. 3. The following categories of expenditure are chargeable to the extent permitted by law:

a. All expenses concerning the negotiation of agreements, practices and working conditions;

b. All expenses concerning the administration of agreements, practices and working conditions, including grievance handling, all activities related to arbitration, and discussion with employees in the bargaining unit or employer representatives regarding working conditions, benefits and contract rights;

c. Convention expenses and other normal union internal governance and management expenses;

d. Social activities and union business meeting expenses;

e. Publication expenses to the extent coverage is related to chargeable activities;

f. Litigation expenses related to contract administration, collective bargaining rights and internal governance;

g. Expenses for legislative and administrative agency activities closely related to the negotiation or administration of contracts and working conditions;

h. All expenses for the education and training of members, Officers and staff intended to prepare the participants to better perform chargeable activities;

i. All strike fund expenditures and other costs of group cohesion and economic action, e.g., demonstrations, general strike activity, informational picketing and the like;

j. A proportional portion of all overhead and administrative expenses.

Sec. 4. Each March, the Brotherhood shall publish these policies and procedures in the Journal to provide notice to employees represented by the Brotherhood of their right to object and the procedures for objecting. The Brotherhood shall also send a copy of these policies and procedures to each person who objected the previous year to inform the person of his or her right to renew the objection for the current year.

Sec. 5. The Brotherhood shall retain a neutral auditor to perform an independent audit of the records of the Brotherhood and to submit an annual report for the purpose of determining the percentage of expenditures that fall within the categories specified in Section 3. The amount of the expenditures during the previous fiscal year that fall within Section 3 shall be the basis for calculating the reduced dues or fees and assessments that must be paid by the objector for the current fiscal year. For each objector, an amount shall be placed in an interest-bearing escrow account equal to the advance reduction provided the objector, as calculated by the neutral auditor, or such other amount as the neutral auditor may recommend to assure that the escrow amounts adequately cover any necessary adjustments in the calculation of chargeable activities. The auditor shall also verify the existence and the amounts of money in any escrow accounts.

Sec. 6. The neutral auditor shall complete the report for the current fiscal year no later than August 31. This report shall include an analysis of the major categories of union expenses attributable to chargeable and non-chargeable activities. A copy of the neutral auditor's report shall be sent to each person who made an objection in the current and previous year.

Sec. 7. Each person entitled to receive the audit report may challenge the legal and arithmetic bases of the calculations in the neutral auditor's report by filing an appeal with the Grand Lodge Secretary-Treasurer. Such appeal must be made by sending a signed letter to the Secretary-Treasurer postmarked no later than thirty (30) days after the date that the audit report was mailed.

Sec. 8. All appeals received by the union within the time limits specified above shall be determined by expeditious referral to an impartial arbitrator chosen through the rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for the impartial determination of union fees. The Brotherhood shall notify the AAA that challenges to the calculation of its fees and assessments have been received from one or more persons and include the names and addresses of the persons who filed the appeals and who must be notified of the proceedings. Thereupon, in accordance with its rules, the AAA will appoint an arbitrator and notify the Brotherhood and the challenger. In addition, the following rules shall apply:

a. All appeals shall be consolidated and heard as soon as the AAA can schedule the arbitration and shall be at a location selected by the AAA to be the most convenient for those involved in the proceeding.

b. Each party to the arbitration shall bear its or their own costs. The challengers shall have the option of paying a pro rata portion of the arbitrator's fees and expenses. The balance of such fees and expenses shall be paid by the Brotherhood.

c. Challengers may, at their expense, be represented by counsel or other representative of their choice. Challengers need not appear at the hearing and shall be permitted to file written statements with the arbitrator instead of appearing. Such statements shall be filed no later than the beginning of the hearing before the arbitrator. Post-hearing statements may be filed in accordance with the provisions of Section 8(g).

d. Fourteen (14) days prior to the start of the arbitration, challengers shall be provided with copies of all exhibits or a list of all such exhibits intended to be introduced at the arbitration by the Brotherhood and a list of all witnesses the Brotherhood intends to call, except for exhibits and witnesses the Brotherhood may introduce for rebuttal. When a list of exhibits has been provided, any challenger shall have a right to receive copies of such exhibits by making a written request for them to the Grand Lodge Secretary-Treasurer. Additionally, copies of all exhibits shall be available for inspection and copying at the hearing.

e. A court reporter shall make a transcript of all proceedings before the arbitrator. This transcript shall be the official record of the proceedings and may be purchased by the challengers. If challengers do not purchase a copy of the transcript, a copy shall be available for inspection by challengers at the Grand Lodge during normal business hours.

f. The arbitrator shall have control over all procedural matters affecting the arbitration in order to fulfill the dual needs of an informed and an expeditious arbitration. The arbitrator shall set forth in the decision the legal and arithmetic bases for the decision, giving full consideration to the legal requirements limiting the amount that objectors may be charged.

g. The parties to the arbitration shall have the right to file a post-hearing statement within fifteen (15) days after both parties have completed submission of their cases at the hearing. Such statements may not introduce new evidence or discuss evidence not introduced in the arbitration. The arbitrator shall issue a decision within forty-five (45) days after the final date for submission of post-hearing statements or within such other reasonable period as is consistent with the AAA rules and the requirements of law.

h. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on all findings of fact supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole and on other findings legally permitted to be binding on all parties.

i. Upon receipt of the arbitrator's award, any adjustment in favor of the challenger will be made from the escrow account. Any adjustments in favor of the union shall be due and owing within thirty (30) days. An individual failing to pay any adjustments in full within the prescribed thirty-day period will be considered as being in non-compliance with provisions of the Union Shop Agreement.

Sec. 9. The provisions of this procedure shall be considered legally separable. Should any provision or portion be held contrary to law by a court or an arbitrator, the remaining provisions or portions thereof shall continue to be legally effective and binding.