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In This March Madness, The Union Always Wins Big

A Pennsylvania college faculty union was accused Monday of scamming its members by overcharging dues as part of an annual “March Madness” scheme.

The unfair labor practice charge, which was filed by The Fairness Center, alleges The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) coerced its members out of money which was then used for its treasury or for political contributions. The charge was filed on behalf of Dr. Mary Ann Dailey, a former Pennsylvania state representative who now works as an associate professor at Slippery Rock University.

The charge details that APSCUF, which has about 5,300 members in the state university system, deliberately overcharged each member $25 throughout the years since 1997. Every March the union would offer a “rebate” called “March Madness” at which point the members had a few weeks to choose whether to take the money back or let the union keep it. If they don’t specify, however, the default is for the union to keep the money.

The Fairness Center has alleged that many members, including Dailey, were not notified of the extra dues and therefore could not ask for them back as part of the rebate.

“I feel taken advantage of,” Dailey said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is deceitful for the union to overcharge me initially, then only give back my money if I jump through hoops.”

Nate Bohlander, the assistant general counsel for The Fairness Center, notes that the whole thing is troubling enough, but it’s made even worse by the fact countless members may not have known their dues have been higher than they were supposed to be.

“We have no idea of the 5,300 plus members who got the notification,” Bohlander told TheDCNF. “If they don’t respond, they keep the money.”

The whole thing is a problem on two fronts according to Bohlander. Firstly, the existing labor contract does not specify the extra dues and secondly, the notification of the extra charges may have not gone out to all members.

“We think it’s a major problem they inflate the dues to begin with,” Bohlander added. “There is no mention of it in their Collective Bargaining agreement.”

The APSCUF did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.

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