Dues for most TCU members who are actively working will increase by $3.20 per month, effective April 1, 2008. In cases where dues are normally deducted a month in advance, the April increase will be deducted in March.
The April dues increase is mandated by Article 26, Section 2(b) of the TCU Constitution which sets forth a formula to link members’ dues to wage increases obtained in bargaining. The formula was initially adopted by delegates attending the Union’s 1979 Convention, and it provides that minimum monthly dues will be adjusted April 1 of each year to be not less than two and one-half times the average hourly wage in effect on December 31 of the preceding year, plus assessments. In 1979 the then average hourly wage was $8.57 per hour as compiled from Interstate Commerce Commission reports. That rate was incorporated into our Union’s Constitution as the basis for any subsequent dues increases, and the delegates agreed to apply general wage increases and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) obtained in national negotiations to that base rate.
Dues increased in much smaller increments in 2005 and 2006 due to the fact that the national freight agreements provided only for COLAs until a new wage agreement was negotiated. A new agreement was ratified in 2007 and provided for general wage increases for 2005 (2.5%), 2006 (3%) and 2007 (3%). To calculate the average hourly wage in effect on December 31, 2007, those COLAs were subtracted out of the average hourly wage and the result, which exceeded $22 an hour, was then increased by 8.5%, reflecting the three general wage increases. Next year, the April increase will be considerably smaller inasmuch as the average hourly wage would be affected by just one general wage increase provided by the national agreements, a 4% wage hike effective July 1, 2008.
In some cases, member dues include local Lodge dues or assessments above the established minimum, and the April 1, 2008 increase will be in addition to the local dues or assessments already in effect.