It appears I am now a member of the bargaining unit. My last paycheck had the automatic fair share deduction taken out.
This is not actually a surprise. There are a lot of complicated details I won't go into, but enough has changed at work that it's perfectly reasonable that I'm in the bargaining unit now when I wasn't before, even though I had for a time mistakenly believed I was.
As I've said in the past, I'm not opposed in principle to paying fair share dues even though I am no longer a formal member of the union and even though I do not wish to endorse the union by becoming a member. (I had signed a card but have also terminated my membership and asked for my card back, which the heads of the UIC United Faculty Union did courteously and promptly.) If I receive the benefits of membership, I feel a personal obligation to pay.