One of the reasons that GET-UP negotiated with AFT for our own local is so that our members could determine the rate of dues. Local contributions cannot be determined by the National AFT or any of the State Federations. Instead, the National AFT and the AFT State Federation (in Pennsylvania, the AFTPA) set the amount (known as the per capita payment) that locals must pay to AFT on members behalf. Once they know how much per capita is due to the AFT, it is up to the members of locals to determine how much they want dues to be.
The full per capita rates for AFT national are $19.03 per member per month for full dues payers, and the AFTPA per capita payments are currently $11.30 per member per month for full dues payers.
However, graduate employees, like thousands of other members of the AFT, earn far below the average salary of AFT members and thus rarely pay the full per capita contribution to either the national or state organization. There are per capita rates at half, quarter, and one-eighth of the full rates of dues. As per the rates decided at the most recent AFTPA convention, any worker making less $43,358 per year is at least a half dues payer; if the member makes less than $15,157 per year then they are a quarter dues payer; if the member makes less than $9,203 per year they pay an eighth of full dues. Normally, graduate employees fall in the half per capita rates, but since dues rates are based on projected annual salary, sometimes a portion of grad employees fall into the quarter per capita rates.
AFL-CIO dues are 55¢ per member per month, which the local also pays on behalf of members. There are no partial rates for AFL-CIO dues.
All services, help, and support, including those provided by the AFT, are covered by dues, and there are no additional or hidden costs, either to the member or the local.
The difference between total dues collected and the total per capita rates paid to AFT, AFTPA, and the AFL-CIO remain solely in the local’s treasury.