How to Become a Member

If you believe you are eligible to become a union member, contact the Membership Chair (find current email address under Home tab) or send an email to In your email, request to be contacted about how to register and receive information about union membership.

Who is a Member of the USofCC Union?

All full-time and regular part-time staff employees of the College, excluding specific departments and management level employees as outlined in Article l of the Bargaining Agreement (BA), are required to join the union and pay dues, or not join and pay agency fees. A member who joins the union has the right to hold a union post and vote in union elections, including the ratification of collective bargaining agreements. A full explanation of the rights of members can be found in the contract located in the Resource section.

Contact the union Membership Chair via the current email address listed under the Contact tab or email the union at

Why You Should Be a Full Dues-Paying Union Member

Many labor laws passed by state and federal legislators would not have been passed without the efforts of organized labor. These laws include protections for social security, workplace health and safety, and discrimination practices. As a full member, you have the right to vote on union actions, and you can become an executive board member. We see membership as a civic duty. All eligible employees are required to pay union dues or agency fee contributions. If payments are not made, the college will be notified, and the non-complying employee will be terminated.

  • You get to participate in decision making on contract negotiations
  • Information is power. Being a member keeps you informed about employment issues and concerns.
  • You send a message to the employer that employees stand united and support their leaders in fighting for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.
  • Plus, it’s the right thing to do because everyone benefits from the union’s work, and everyone should contribute.

How To Get Involved

Attend Membership Meetings
USofCC has regular membership meetings that all members are welcome to attend. This is where important business, like upcoming negotiations, the formation of bargaining committees, planning for community events, and other concerns are discussed.

Because it is impossible to cover all the ways you can become active at your specific local union, attending one of these meetings can be a great way to dive in and learn more about what is going on and how you can be involved.

Help Out with Local Union Events
Join the Contract Action Team (CAT). CAT members organize events to support the negotiation team. This group develops strategies to activate the membership.

Contact the board about past activities or ask about what’s on the calendar for this year at your next membership meeting.

Read Your Contract

Do you have a copy of your contract? Have you read it? By reading and understanding your contract, you will better be able to spot when your rights, or the rights of your coworkers, are being violated.

Knowing what you are currently entitled to can also help you keep an eye out for what you think is missing and what would be helpful to add in the future.

Find a copy under the RESOURCES tab in the menu.

Become a Building Representative
Each building has a union representative. The building rep informs members housed in each building about what’s happening with the union and helps make sure everyone’s rights are protected.

It is good to have the names of your building reps, along with the best way to reach them, so if an issue comes up you can quickly reach out for help.

Carry a Copy of  Your Weingarten Rights
In the Weingarten case, the Supreme Court ruled that Union-represented workers have the right to Union representation during all meetings or discussions with supervisors or managers that the member reasonably believes might lead to discipline.  These meetings or discussions include discussions in meetings, in work areas, offices, and even outside the facility.

At the beginning of the meeting, this law requires the supervisor or manager to disclose all meeting topics and to give the member a chance to ask for a representative.  Members can demand the presence of any executive board member or building representative.  If none is available, the supervisor or manager must postpone the meeting until a supporting member is available.  Companies may not punish members for exercising their Weingarten rights.

Encourage all your coworkers to become familiar with and exercise their Weingarten rights. This is important because a member waives the right to a witness if the member does not speak up and expressly request a witness.

Run to be Elected to the Executive Board
The union members vote every two years to elect an executive board, which oversees the affairs of the union to meet the needs of the staff. The board is guided by the union’s bylaws which can be viewed on the website. The executive board is made up of a president, who is responsible for the day to day running of the union. The vice-president supports the president and is a member of the grievance team. Other important positions include membership, secretary, communications, treasurer, and regional representative for Illinois Education Association (IEA). See a description of each position on the USofCC website under Resources/Bylaws.

How Your Dues are Spent

Most members choose to have union dues deducted directly from their payroll check. The dues cover the cost of support from both the IEA and NEA. View this graphic to understand where your USofCC dues go.  This graphic explains how the IEA uses your dues. The NEA uses dues to support the Representative Assembly, which is the primary legislative and policy-making body of the organization. The NEA returns 39 percent of dues money back to state affiliates. Want to know your dues schedule? Email the Membership Chair (find current email address under Home tab) or send an email to


Our Parent Organizations

The Illinois Education Association (IEA)

IEA is an association of more than 135,000 members composed of Illinois elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty and staff, educational support professionals, retired educators, and college students preparing to become teachers. The IEA was founded in 1853 to serve the interests of public education in Illinois. Learn more by clicking this link to their website:
IEA Benefits

The National Education Association (NEA)

The NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States. We bring the expertise, drive, and dedication of 3 million educators and allies working to advance justice and excellence in public education. Learn more by clicking this link to their website:
NEA Benefits