This is the eighth installment in a series of posts designed to explain the structure and function of your union. Knowing how your union works and who to contact when you have questions or issues you want addressed will help you make the most of your career. Today we’re looking at how your dues are calculated, collected, and used on your behalf.

Being a member of the Air Line Pilots Association, the largest pilot labor union in the world, gives you numerous benefits, from professional attorneys on your side in the event of a dispute with your company and a collectively negotiated contract that ensures the company treats and pays you fairly, to unmatched air safety and security representation, representation before lawmakers, optional insurance and emergency relief programs. The cost for these and many other benefits are your monthly dues.

How is the dues obligation calculated?

The current dues rate is 1.9% of gross income for active members. To estimate how much you’ll pay in dues, here’s the formula to do your own calculations:

Annual Earnings Subject to Dues X 1.9% = Annual Obligated Dues

If you have questions about what types of earnings are subject to dues, visit the Membership FAQ page on and scroll down to the question “How is my dues obligation calculated?”  You can also get information on the total amount of dues and assessments paid in the current year through the ALPA website via My ALPA > My Account. On the Account tab press the Payments button to review the current year information. U.S. pilots may generate a printable Cash Receipt (dues and assessments) for all payments received within the calendar year.

How are dues actually paid?

Most members choose to have dues, assessments and optional insurance coverage obligations  automatically deducted from their pay (call 1-888-FLY-ALPA and press option 3 to speak with a Membership Administration Representative if you have questions about payroll deduction). Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), union dues are no longer deductible. Learn more about the impact of TCJA on pilots here.

Where does my dues money go? How is it used?

Dues are allocated as follows: MEC Account (37.5%), Administrative and Support Account (57%), LEC Account (2%) and Operating Contingency Fund (3.5%).

  • MEC Account: These funds are used to pay for the operation of the Delta MEC. This includes flight pay loss and member expenses, office and staff, meetings, special projects, communication, events and contract negotiations.
  • LEC Account: These funds are used to pay for the operation of the Delta local councils. These funds are primarily used to cover the cost of meetings and member events at the local level.
  • Administrative & Support (A&S) Account: These funds are used to pay for the resources shared by all ALPA MECs and local councils. This includes nearly all ALPA staff, the national headquarters and field office facilities, the national governing bodies (BOD, Executive Board and Executive Council), national committees and national events.
  • Operating Contingency Fund (OCF): The OCF is a contingency fund used to provide supplemental funding for MECs and special projects in tightly controlled circumstances.

Be sure to catch up on all parts of the Understanding Your Union series:

The Organization of ALPA

Local Councils/LECs

The Master Executive Council

Officers of the MEC

Governing Documents

MEC Meetings

What’s the difference between the PWA and the FOM

Policy Manual Review

MEC Committees