DUES, INITIATION FEE AND ASSESSMENTS
A. Dues-Active Members
1. Effective June 1, 2008, all active members shall be required to pay monthly dues in the amount equal to the CWA Dues Average, which is currently forty-three dollars ($43.00) effective the first day of the calendar month succeeding their acceptance to active membership status, provided that in cases of late application for active membership, the provisions of Article II.D. shall apply. Each year, AFA-CWA dues are subject to change on June 1. Dues for the upcoming fiscal year will be based upon the CWA dues average as identified by the International AFA-CWA Secretary-Treasurer.
2. Dues of an AFA-CWA Affiliate Member will be the greater of $20.00 per month, or half of the dues of an AFA Active member, rounded up to the nearest dollar, as may be set from time to time by the AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws.
3. $1.00 per member per month from all active members' and service charge payers' dues on any airline shall be allocated to sustain a Mobilization Fund to promote and achieve the goal outlined in Article I.C. Such Mobilization Fund shall be over and above the regular Organizing Department's annual budget. Up to 90% of the Mobilization Fund can be reallocated to support first contract negotiations for newly organized carriers with more than 10,000 flight attendants. (For fiscal year 2009-2010, contributions to the Mobilization Fund will be reduced to $0.25 per member per month.)
4. Dues for active members on any airline may be increased to a maximum of an additional five dollars ($5.00) per month by two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote in a secret ballot membership referendum to be conducted by the International Secretary-Treasurer of the Union upon determination by the Master Executive Council on that airline to conduct such ballot. Such additional dues shall be held by the Union to be used for the benefit of the membership on that particular airline, as determined by the Master Executive Council with approval of the International President, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws and Union policies.
5. All dues shall be paid to the Union by check-off or direct payment.
6. Payment of dues shall be required of all members that are on active status during a month or any portion thereof. After the first ninety (90) days of removal from service and no longer receiving compensation through a carrier for disability leave, payment of dues shall not be required.
7. An active member on non-paying dues status pending adjudication of a grievance or legal proceeding involving such member's suspension or termination from employment shall pay, if job status is restored and retroactive pay incorporated in that member's return to work, proportionate dues for such out-of-work period.
8. Active members who are not receiving income as a flight attendant, due to cessation of that airline's operations resulting from a work stoppage, shall be on a non-dues paying status for the period of such work stoppage provided such work stoppage exceeds fourteen (14) days in any calendar month.
9. In any case where the amount of dues for a member is in dispute, such dispute shall be settled by the member's Master Executive Council. The amount of dues determined to be correct by the Master Executive Council shall be binding. However, the Master Executive Council shall not have the authority to reduce the amount of dues obligation required by the Constitution and Bylaws.
10.Members on newly organized carriers without prior Union representation and a collective bargaining agreement shall not be charged dues until after an initial contract is ratified.
B. Payment of Dues
1. All members shall execute a check-off form at the time they apply for membership. Each flight attendant is responsible for paying her/his dues. If authorization for payroll deduction has been given to the airline and the airline fails to make the deduction for dues, the member remains responsible for paying those dues.
2. The Union's dues year shall be the AFA-CWA fiscal year. Dues are due and payable on June 1 of each year, subject to the method of payment set forth in Paragraph 3. below.
3. Dues may be paid either: a) on an annual basis; b) on a monthly basis by dues check-off; or c) on a monthly basis, with payments due by the first day of the month.
4. Prepayment of Annual Dues.
Any member may pay dues annually in advance prior to July 1 of any year instead of quarterly and a ten percent (10%) discount will be granted to such member on such annual prepaid amount.
5. An annual "coupon booklet" shall be mailed to all members who have not chosen to pay annually or who are not on dues check-off on a monthly basis.
C. Initiation Fee
1. Each applicant accepted by the Union for active membership on or after October 31, 2005 shall be required to pay an initiation fee of sixty dollars ($60.00), paid either at one time on approval of active membership or on a monthly basis for six (6) months at ten dollars ($10.00) per month. Individuals who were members of AFA-CWA carriers at the time AFA-CWA's representation rights terminated at their carrier shall not be required to pay an initiation fee upon rejoining AFA-CWA. Payment of initiation fees for members on newly organized carriers without prior Union representation and a collective bargaining agreement shall be deferred until after an initial contract is ratified.
2. The International President may ballot the Executive Board for the purpose of waiving initiation fees in connection with organizing activities. Majority vote shall prevail.
D. Reinstatement Fee
Any individual whose membership has been terminated by reason of resignation from AFA-CWA or expulsion for non-payment of dues, fees or assessments shall be required to pay a reinstatement fee of sixty dollars ($60.00) as a condition of reinstatement to AFA-CWA membership.
1. Assessments may be levied on all active members to cover extraordinary expenses, provided such assessments are approved by a majority of the active members by mail ballot, provided that such approval is procured before such expenditures are made.
2. Assessments may be levied on all active members for specific benefit purposes provided that such assessments are approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the ballots returned of the active members by mail ballot, and provided that such approval is procured before such expenditures are made.
3. Assessments may be levied on active members of a Local Council for purposes which are consistent with and implement this Constitution and Bylaws and Union policy, provided that such assessments are approved by a majority of the valid ballots returned by active members in good standing of such Council, voting in a secret ballot referendum conducted by the International Secretary-Treasurer of the Union by mail in accordance with Union voting procedures, upon written request of the Local Executive Council.
4. Assessments may be levied on active members in the employ of any airline, for purposes which are consistent with and implement this Constitution and Bylaws and Union policy, provided that such assessments are approved by a majority of the valid ballots returned by active members in good standing on the airline, voting in a secret ballot referendum conducted by the International Secretary-Treasurer of the Union by mail in accordance with Union voting procedures, upon written request of the Master Executive Council, and further provided that all seniority merger assessments shall be in accordance with AFA-CWA merger policy.
5. All funds raised by assessments pursuant to Section E.3. or E.4. above shall be recorded by the Union in separate accounts for the benefit of the membership of the particular Local Council or airline, subject to disbursement in accordance with and to implement the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws and Union policy. The International Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain records showing the amount paid by each member and shall make disbursements from the assessment fund upon receipt of written invoices approved by the Local Council President and Local Council Secretary for Local Council assessments, and Master Executive Council President and Master Executive Council Secretary-Treasurer for airline assessments. There shall be quarterly and annual financial reports to the Local Executive Council or Master Executive Council for each assessment fund. Further, this information will be made available to any member upon request.
6. Notice will be sent for each assessment period or assessments levied. All dues and assessment notices shall be accompanied by a pre-addressed return envelope.
7. All assessments levied pursuant to Section E. of this Article are due and payable when levied.
F. Delinquency, Bad Standing and Loss of Membership
1. When any member has not paid dues, initiation fee or assessments as provided in Sections A., C and E. of this Article in the case of an active member, within thirty (30) days from the due date; or has not paid fines within thirty (30) days from the date the same are due and payable; or has not made satisfactory arrangements for payments prior to either of such dates; or fails to maintain and honor agreed upon terms, as the case may be, as provided in this Constitution and Bylaws; such member shall be deemed, from the date of such delinquency, to be a member in bad standing. That member shall henceforth, for the duration of such period of bad standing, be deprived of all rights to participate in any activities of the Union in any manner whatsoever and that member shall, while in bad standing, be denied all of the rights, privileges, and benefits whatsoever of membership in the Union.
2. Any member who fails to pay dues, initiation fee, assessments or fines within three (3) months following the due date of such obligation, or within two (2) months following the due date of such obligation if the member has been in bad standing with respect to a prior obligation within the preceding two (2) years, shall be subject to expulsion, provided that if the member's Local Executive Council and the International Secretary-Treasurer of the Union believe that extenuating circumstances exist, and the International President concurs, the individual may be permitted to remain delinquent as deemed reasonable. Failure of a member to maintain and honor agreed upon terms, in the manner specified, shall be cause for immediate expulsion. The International Secretary-Treasurer of the Union shall send each member who becomes subject to expulsion a notice, certified mail, return receipt requested, to show cause why that member should not be expelled.
3. Any member who has paid in full financial obligations to the Union or made satisfactory arrangements in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws, shall be deemed to be a member in good standing and entitled to participate actively in all Union activities and entitled to all of the rights, privileges, and benefits of membership unless otherwise ordered or determined in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws.
4. All dues, initiation fees and assessments, in accordance with Sections A., C. and E. of this Article, are legal obligations of the members and enforceable in a court of law.
5. When a flight attendant is hired by an AFA-CWA represented carrier and the flight attendant was previously employed by another AFA-CWA carrier and left with dues owing, that flight attendant must pay the dues obligation at the previous carrier before attaining good standing in the Union.
The payments of past indebtedness shall be credited to the Local Council of the carrier at which the member was last based at the time of termination of prior employment, utilizing the established allocation formula for crediting of dues payments. If the Local Council at the flight attendant's former airline is no longer allocated funds by the Union, the payments of past indebtedness shall be credited fully to the International Office budget.
6. An Affiliate Member who fails to pay dues for two (2) months or is two (2) months in arrears shall be subject to expulsion and will have their membership terminated. Should that member choose to reapply for membership at a later date, those dues that were in arrears at the time of terminating membership must be paid in full before the application will be accepted. The payments of past indebtedness shall be credited to that Local Council (if any) to which the member last belonged at the time of termination of membership. If the member did not belong to an established Local Council at the time of termination, all payments of past indebtedness shall be credited to the Mobilization Fund.
G. Union Reserves
1. The amount of the reserve fund required in Article I.C. 12. shall be determined by multiplying the annual income by two (2) with the minimum desired reserve to be one million dollars ($1,000,000). As part of such net worth reserve, an investment account shall be maintained consisting of United States bonds, high-grade corporate and municipal bonds and equities, bank certificate of deposit, and government insured mortgage loans. This investment account shall provide suitable income terms, and be easily liquidable in the event of unanticipated emergencies.
2. At the end of each fiscal year, whenever total income exceeds total expenses, such net income may be credited to the Union reserves whenever its net worth is less than two (2) times the annual income.
H. Reserve Benefit Fund
1. Subject to the provisions of Paragraph 2. below, when reserves are at a maximum specified in Section G. of this Article, or have reached the maximum after part or all of the aforementioned net income has been transferred to said reserves, the balance of the net income may be placed into a Reserve Benefit Fund. Such fund shall not exceed two (2) times the annual income, and must be utilized solely for the payment of such benefits as are authorized by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may authorize assessments to replace any monies drawn from the fund.
2. In the event serious financial losses are suffered by the Union, the International President may ballot the Board of Directors for approval to credit all net income to net worth and reserves.
I. Dues Refund
All net income not credited to applicable reserves as provided in Sections G. and H. of this Article or as outlined in the Policy Manual, Section XI., regarding the National Strike Fund shall be returned to the membership in good standing in the form of a prorated refund payable to those dues-paying members of record as of March 31 of the following calendar year, who are in good standing. Proration shall be on the basis of total dues paid for the preceding calendar year. Such refund shall be payable not later than May 15 of the same calendar year.