No one can be required to become a union member. Since the union is obligated to represent all employees in the bargaining unit regardless of membership, it is a condition of employment under our agreement with Columbia that individuals share the cost of representation.  Individuals must therefore either become a member and pay dues, or, if objecting to being a union member, pay a  “fair share” fee to cover the cost of representation. The objecting, non-member fee is calculated annually by the Union according to legal requirements, but historically tends to be roughly 85% of membership dues. Given how small the difference is between dues and fair share fees (likely to be roughly $16 per month for someone making $66,100), we strongly encourage all researchers to sign up as members since it strengthens our collective voice.