A Member’s Rights and Responsibilities
Since you’re working in a unionized workplace, because of its role as “exclusive representative” your union is entitled -- in fact, required by law -- to represent every individual in the bargaining unit. But just the same, the law says that you cannot be forced to become a full, dues-paying member.
Depending on a variety of factors -- the state you work in, whether you are a public sector or private sector employee, and what you union contract provides -- it may be that the most you can be required to pay is a portion of the full dues. You may even be able to get away with paying nothing at all.
If that sounds tempting, you might want to think about other ways you could save a few bucks: not spending money to replace bald tires (a good idea until you hit a slippery stretch of road), or holding off on fixing your leaky roof (no problem, unless it should happen to rain), or not getting your children inoculated against polio.
-- Adapted from The Union Members Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer