Membership & Monthly Dues
All Carpenters are welcome to join. Regardless of your race, gender, age, or any other characteristic, if you are physically capable of performing the work at the Journeyman level or if you are willing to work hard and learn the craft from the bottom up, at the Apprentice level, we want to represent you!
The process for making membership starts by contacting us, preferably in person at Local 217. Joining as a Journeyman is probably the easiest and most straightforward way to join. We always suggest that a prospective member try to secure a commitment to hire (request letter) from a union signatory employer before joining as this is the quickest and most efficient way to get straight to work however, if the individual does not mind a stay on the out-of-work list, a job order usually comes into the hiring hall within a fairly reasonable amount of time and then the individual goes to work. Joining as an Apprentice is a little more involved due to the fact that State Apprenticeship Standards apply. First and foremost, individuals who are interested in becoming apprentices must come to the Local and fill out an application for apprenticeship and send it in. Once that is accomplished, there are three options:
1) Do nothing and wait for the Apprenticeship to contact you for an orientation. This may
take several months to a year due to demand volume.
2) Go out into the field and solicit a "sponsorship" letter from a union signatory employer. If
the employer pledges in writing to sponsor you into the apprenticeship program, it will get
you into the very next scheduled Pre-Apprentice class. This is a mandatory, six week
class that all potential Apprentices must attend and pass before making membership
and going to work - unless (see 3 below):
3) If you have at least 600 hours (roughly a full year's worth) of prior construction (any
aspect of construction including general labor) or you currently work for a Carpenters
Union signatory employer (for at least six months) as a laborer, driver, or shop/yard
hand, the employer may provide you with a special sponsorship letter which will allow
you to bypass the Pre-apprenticeship class and get you direct entry to the Apprenticeship
Program as an indentured, first-period Apprentice. These particular sponsorship letters
must be worded very specifically so if your potential employer does not know the
requirements, they should contact our office.
Once one of the previous three options has been satisfied, the individual indentures into
the Apprenticeship program, comes to the local to make membership, and is then dispatched
The cost to join for either Journeymen or Apprentices is at least three months dues. The
Constitutional initiation fee of $300.00 is waived for all new members by way of a special
dispensation of the General President of the UBC.
Dues Rates and Fees:
Monthly membership dues for both Journeyman and Apprentices are $18.00 per month, due on the first of every month. Most members pay their dues for an entire year in advance because it is very important not to fall behind on one's dues. If a member falls too far behind on their dues, they can fall into arrears status or worse, they can go suspended which technically means that they are no longer a member. In any event, members receive letters from the Financial Secretary-Treasurer informing them that they must square their accounts in a timely fashion. Their is a $5.00 letter fee assessed for every one of these letters. Monthly dues are every member's personal responsibility and the overwhelming majority of members are always in good standing.
Monthly membership dues for any member who is retired but not yet 65 years old are $14.80 per month by way of a special dispensation.
Monthly membership dues for any member who is retired and over the age of 65 years old are $6.00 per month. This monthly rate also applies to members who are retired on permanent disability.
For members who achieve the milestone of fifty (50) years of continuous membership and are retired, monthly dues are waived and these members enter Honorary status and are issued a gold membership card from the UBC.
All members are encouraged to pay their dues for an entire year at a time. Here is the quick math for your convenience:
1) Active Journeymen and Apprentices: $216.00 per year
2) Early Retiree (under age 65): $177.60 per year
3) Retiree (age 65 and up): $72.00 per year
Dues may be paid by cash, check, or credit/debit card. There is a three month minimum for credit/debit card transactions. For obvious reasons, cash transactions should always be made in person. Personal checks or money orders by mail or in person or through online banking, and credit/debit cards in person or by phone during business hours.