Organizations with members drawn in part from the government's 2.8 million workers soon will be able to tap a steady, guaranteed source of income through regular payroll dues deductions.
Outfits that could benefit from the voluntary dues withholding range in size and scope from the American Medical Association to smaller, government-oriented groups like Federally Employed Women and professional organizations of communicators, scientists, engineers and secrtaries.
Federal and postal employee unions have benefited greatly from regular payroll dues withholding. Shortly after the dues checkoff was instituted in government, membership began to stabilize and it has since doubled and tripled - in large measure because of dues checkoff - in many agencies.
The prospect of dues checkoff for nonlabor groups is one part of a new package of Civil Service Commission guidelines, telling agencies that they should step up their dealings with bona fide groups that help their employees professionally.
Under the new guidelines, agencies are free to negotiate the dues checkoff with professional and other associations "that do not qualify for dues withholding as a labor organizations or as associations of management officials or supervisors."
Agencies will be told that the groups they grant dues checkoff privileges to must provide "some worthwhile function or service that would contribute to the agency's mission ad programs or to the morale and welfare of the agency's mission and programs or to the morale and welfare of the agency's employees." This would seem to include employee recreation associations and travel groups that now, collect dues monthly, or annually.
To qualify to the dues withholding, organizations must not discriminate because of race, color, creed, sex, age or national origin, and be lawful "nonprofit organizations" with a constitution or bylaws that indicates the groups subscribes to "minimum stadards of fiscal responsibility and employes democratic principles in the nomination" and election of officers.