Sunday, August 12, 2012

NEA, ISEA & LCEA E-Dues: LC Joins Innovators to Protect Our Local Association

How many of us pay some of our bills online?  Shop online?  Our guess is lots.  There's lots of great reasons to renew your membership using E-Dues or Electronic Funds Transfer.  Most importantly to this writer is that I'll be able to pay my dues over 12 months instead of 10 months.  Less will be taken from those 10 checks.  Another important reason is to protect our local Association from political mischief should we not elect pro-public education candidates this fall.  Another reason, is for anonymity.  The district will no longer be privy to our membership rolls.  Look at the other great reasons to join.

What is the Electronic Dues Deduction (E-dues)?

E-dues is a method to pay Local, State, and National Association dues; special funds; and PAC contributions through a process other than payroll deduction. Currently the procedure being developed for this deduction is a direct debit from a member’s checking account.

Why does ISEA/LCEA want to establish alternative means to pay dues and make contributions?

State Associations around the country have seen a coordinated attack on labor organizations. One of the attacks is to eliminate the Association’s ability to collect dues and contributions through payroll deductions. In addition, the ISEA has researched E-dues and found it to be cost-effective with the added bonus that all union business is conducted between the Local Association and the ISEA instead of the employer.

Is the loss of payroll deduction imminent?

While there is no imminent danger of losing payroll deduction in Iowa, other states that have lost payroll deduction have had the changes thrust on them over a very short time frame and, in some cases, the result has been debilitating to the Association. ISEA wants to be proactive as a means of being prepared and also meet the changing needs of our membership, many of whom participate in online banking for all of their financial needs.

Will all local members be required to participate in the E-dues program?

No, only those members who wish to participate in the E-dues program. Those wishing to remain on payroll deduction will be able to do so and will not notice a change.

Is there a cost associated with E-dues deduction?

No, the amount of dues collected from a member will be the same as what would have been collected through payroll deduction. Of course, if the member does not have the funds in his/her bank account to cover the deduction, additional charges could be made by their bank.

Will E-dues be used to collect local dues as well?

Yes, the current plan is to collect all dues, including local dues. Local dues will then be remitted directly to the local’s designated bank account.

Are there advantages to participating in the E-dues program?

Yes. One advantage is that once a member has signed on for E-dues, the Local Association is no longer responsible for making sure the district has properly deducted dues from payroll. Second, a Local Association that has all of its members on E-dues greatly reduces the responsibility of the FRS contact and/or treasurer; and third, E-dues removes all Association business from your employer and plants it squarely in the hands of your union—which is you!

What institution will be facilitating E-dues for ISEA?

NEA has partnered with Bank of America (BofA) to be the facilitating agent for the ACH (Automated Clearing House).

How will an Association member’s bank account be secured?

The ACH information will be stored on NEA’s secure membership database. The information needed for ACH is the same information that is printed on the bottom of personal and business checks.

How many months are payments made?

Payments will be made over 12 months which will further reduce the monthly amount deducted by spreading it over the entire year.

What if I miss a payment due to insufficient funds?

If a payment is missed, the amount missed will be spread over the remaining months.

Who will be the contact for questions or technical problems with the E-dues program?

Your UniServ office will be the primary contact.