What Does It Mean to Be a “Fair Share” Adjunct?

The concept of “fair share” derives from section 11 of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA). This law states that the “bargaining representative”, in our case the CLC-AFO, collects dues from bargaining unit members who are not members of the CLC-AFO.

Who is a member of the bargaining unit (BU)? Any adjunct who has taught a minimum of 3 credit hours for 3 consecutive semesters becomes a member of the bargaining unit in that third semester. The CLC-AFO does not represent adjuncts who are in only their first or second semester.

Once an adjunct has become a member of the bargaining unit, s/he can opt to formally join the CLC-AFO by signing a membership form.

Why do non-union members pay dues? Because once they become part of the bargaining unit, they are represented by the union, and enjoy the same benefits and salary increases as members. BU members also are protected by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) just as the union members are. However, BU members who have not formally joined the union cannot vote in union officer elections or to ratify contracts and do not have access to many union perks provided by Local 504, the IFT and the AFT, e.g. retail discounts, auto insurance, etc.

Because BU members enjoy all of the protections and provisions of the CBA, they pay union dues. This is state law. The CLC-AFO officers cannot change this.

Dues are assessed depending upon how much you make each semester.  For the 2011-2012 academic year, the dues structure is as follows:

Length of Assignment:


≤ $4250/semester

(1/8th dues)


≥ $4250/semester

(1/4 dues)

Deductions begin:

Assignment:  less than 16 weeks2 payments of:



Total: $72.84



Total: $114.84


Open; depends upon class dates
Assignment: 16 weeks6 payments of:



Total: $72.84


Total: $114.84

Last 6 of 8 paychecks


Also, please note that the CLC-AFO does not keep all of this money. Of total dues paid by an individual adjunct, $17.58 is remitted to the CLC-AFO. The balance is spread among Lake County Federation of Teachers, Local 504, Illinois Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers and AFL-CIO.

Dues support the infrastructure that in turn supports the CLC-AFO. The dues we pay are a reasonable expense when one considers an annual raise, paid committee assignments, professional development funds, etc. So if you are not a member of the CLC-AFO, we encourage you to join at the next General Meeting, or by contacting one of the officers.