Mary Ann Dailey is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Slippery Rock University, with more than 25 years of teaching experience. Ms. Dailey is also a member of the Association of the Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties (“APSCUF”), the public-sector union that represents faculty and coaches within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Like any other APSCUF member, Ms. Dailey is contractually obligated to pay union dues in order to keep her job. However, each year, APSCUF conducts a “Dues Rebate Campaign,” under which a portion of members’ dues money is deemed unnecessary to the union and potentially returned to members. However instead of simply returning members’ dues, APSCUF first asks each member to contribute his or her dues “rebate” to APSCUF’s own political action committee. And if members fail to respond to the campaign in a timely manner, APSCUF keeps the “rebate” for general use in the union treasury.
Furthermore, if members make a selection one year, and APSCUF fails to hear back from them by the deadline in subsequent years, APSCUF assumes they mean to make that same choice year after year. The “rebate” campaign begins with—and is made possible by—an artificial overcharge in union dues. APSCUF inflates dues to an amount that includes funds it intends to use for non-dues purposes, deprives members of that money throughout the year, asks members to send that money to APSCUF’s PAC, and, should APSCUF fail to hear from members, keeps the money for union activities that may also be political in nature.
The Fairness Center represented Ms. Dailey in her challenge to APSCUF’s practice of manipulating dues and creating a deceptive fundraising program in an effort to further fund union political work.