Friday, August 3, 2012

A Message from the EST on What Your Working Dues Are and Why You Should Pay Them

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Members' assessments play a huge part in how the District Council operates and remains functional.

Collections began in 1978 with a 15 cent assessment, approved by a rank and file vote and obtained by the local. Five cents of that was provided to the District Council. In 1982, assessments were collected by the District Council and were determined based on 1% of members' total package--also determined by a vote from the rank and file. Then in 2000, delegates voted for a 30 cents an hour assessment with 20 cents toward organizing, 5 cents toward communications and 5 cents for political action. Total assessments were again increased by a vote from the delegates to 60 cents an hour in 2005 with 50 cents earmarked for organizing and 10 cents split between political action and communications.

As of today, the District Council no longer collects Working Dues and Working Dues Assessments through Vacation Benefit deductions under previously executed authorization cards (commonly known as the blue card). Instead, members receive their full Vacation Benefit without any deductions for payments due to the District Council. However, it is extremely important to remember that, although the payment method changed, there is no change in your financial obligations to the District Council.

Without assessments, very import initiatives and tools within our organizing, political action and communications efforts go unfunded. With your assessments the organizing department has been able to successfully build and maintain the membership by paying rent, payroll, insurance, and legal fees as well as stave off anti labor efforts with visible picket line material, banners, huge organizing campaigns and massive publicity efforts. The same goes for our political action efforts. The funding provided through assessments helps sustain our political voice by supporting candidates, elected leaders, policy and legislation that support us. Issues related to working people get pushed aside without the proper resources. As for communication, your assessments go toward communicating all of these efforts to the members and the general public. We are relaunching the Carpenters Magazine, updating our website, establishing a social media presence and revamping the department with new, experienced staff in order to publicize our latest initiatives. Without proper funding through Working Dues and Working Dues Assessments all of this is in jeopardy.

As told, we are currently attempting to negotiate dues check-off provisions in the new contracts that would allow for automatic paycheck deductions from weekly pay subject to your execution of a valid authorization form. Dues check-off provisions are a lawful, very common, and convenient way for members to pay union dues.

We still urge you to act quickly in making your required payment to the District Council. Payment was due on August 1, but checks are still being accepted. We need to continue our efforts to rebuild our Union into a united fighting force against the many threats confronting the unionized construction industry in New York City.


Michael Bilello,
Executive Secretary-Treasurer



  2. What a bunch of double talking bullshit this is.

  3. So let me do the math.
    I worked 360 hours from 4/6/12 to 6/15/12
    That would be 360 hrs x $0.60= $216.00
    Thats what my assessments should be.
    Lets see what happens when my check arrives and the DC comes up with their totals.

  4. Dealt with by the as of now non payment of the assessments and the shooting fown of the last contract this is where the memberships power is and it is sad that the people the membership elected are forcing the membership to take such action there are rumblings on the street that if you don't have your assessment paid by the end of the month that you will be singled out by the DC in some way I say that if this happens this is illegal Is the DC going to attack its members again instead of trying to workout this assessment injustice that has been going on for years are the DC going to stop their members from working!

    This would be even more tragic because the members working are the ones keeping this boat a float are they just going to threaten the membership again these assessments have been just enabling the DC to continue to abuse their positions while the members have been differing and cutting back on their ways of living and bennies the DC has been continuing to operate without any cutbacks instead they have given themselves raises and continued to live and act like they are not to be affected by this economic downturn that the members have been dealing with for more than 10 years we still have no contract we have lost our eyeglass we have lost our dental our funds supervisor appoinited by Dennis Walsh has been removed it has been said that spencer has been removed from the oversight of our funds we haven't been turning jobs union the list is inoperatable moral is at an all time low our leaders have allowed the woodworkers in our union to get shit on by reducing their rates and contributions what the hell is going on do you really think that the members given their full vacation checks will send in and help to keep enabling this system that is spending their money with no returns being brought back to the membership we have to and I say have to take to te streets for this upcoming rally our leadership is out of control and when they look out those windows on to clarksob and Hudson street they have to see the numbers down there we have been robbed enough by our own abs by this new CORPRATE entity ( aka mr epstien )that has taken over its the new cancer that has taken over from the old cancer and if it continues unchecked it will most certainly destroy us from within all the while our power seeking back stabbing leaders will be watching with no reguardless for the membership and it's concerns. god bless the working union men and women and their families and may they see the light and take to The streets in the coming days to voice their anger and defend what is theirs and not the few that wish to destroy us as a union !


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