IAFF, Local 825 v. UPFFA

CASE SUMMARY

In 2016, New Haven, Connecticut’s International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 825, ended its membership in a state-wide union, the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut (UPFFA). But for years since then, Local 825 continued to receive bills for UPFFA membership dues—bills that now total over $52,000 and for which the UPFFA is demanding payment.

Local 825 announced a lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of New Haven, reaffirming its disassociation from the UPFFA and seeking to bar the UPFFA from collecting membership dues to which it is not entitled.

“State union bureaucrats who don’t fight fires are trying to pick our pockets,” commented Frank Ricci, president of Local 825. “We left the state union more than two years ago, and they aren’t entitled to a cent from us since then—especially after they betrayed our trust by misusing our money. Because the state union won’t honor our choice to leave, we’re asking the court to step in. We are risking our lives to fight for the community. We shouldn’t also have to fight state union bureaucrats.”

In January 2016, Local 825 voted unanimously to leave the UPFFA, citing a lack of leadership and diminishing return on investment. The president of the UPFFA recognized Local 825’s decision to terminate their membership but continued to bill Local 825 monthly “dues” as if it remained an affiliate of UPFFA. After two years of nonpayment, a collections agency called Local 825’s leadership and their family members in an effort to collect over $50,000 in alleged “back dues.”

Local 825 is asking the court to affirm its right to disassociate from UPFFA, to order that UPFFA recognize Local 825’s disassociation, and to enjoin UPFFA from attempting to collect funds from Local 825. Additionally, Local 825—which recently learned that UPFFA was misappropriating its dues before Local 825 disassociated—is requesting that UPFFA return a portion of dues from prior years.

International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 825 v. Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut, Inc.

This case has been settled.

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