Monday, June 2, 2014

Did you know? - Withdrawal

Most professional associations and unions offer some form of honorable withdrawal from membership, and Equity is no different.

A member may choose to go on hiatus from active membership in the Association by applying in writing to the Executive Director. Full details can be found here. Really, it's pretty much as simple as dropping us a note.

Withdrawal allows you to place your membership on temporary hold, when you know that you will not be working in Equity's jurisdiction for a while. Common reasons are a return to school, new parenthood, absence from the country, etc. Withdrawal does not end your membership.

When you go on withdrawal, you are no longer charged basic dues, saving you $90 per half year. If you come back off withdrawal within one year – to accept a contract, for instance – you will be back-billed for the missed basic dues and any penalties that would have been charged had you not withdrawn. (In other words, withdrawal cannot be used to simply avoid paying your current dues.) However, if withdrawal extends beyond a year, you are not back-billed for those dues, and will owe only basic dues for the current billing period, plus a $25 reinstatement fee, regardless of the length of the withdrawal.

There are a few key restrictions to going on withdrawal.
  • You can't go on withdrawal if you are not in good standing, which means that you can't use withdrawal to avoid paying back dues, or avoid any other penalty or disciplinary action.
  • When you are on withdrawal, the rules of membership continue to apply, which means that withdrawal doesn't give you the option of working off-contract.
  • As a member on withdrawal, you are not eligible to vote on any matter, or attend membership meetings. Your RRSP remains active, but you are not eligible for insurance coverage.
Oh, one other thing. You are not officially on withdrawal until you hear back from the office, accepting your application. It's generally handled within a day or two.

Withdrawal is an honorable approach to placing your membership temporarily into an inactive status, and we strongly encourage members to use it where needed. It can save you a lot of money if you know you're going to be "out of the business" for a bit, and is much less expensive than resigning and rejoining.

If you need to know more about withdrawal, please call either office, and staff will be glad to assist.