Freedom Foundation

SEIU trap for school employees – “irrevocable” membership

Government union executives know that their ability to force tens of thousands of employees to give them money without meaningful accountability is likely to end when the Supreme Court rules in Janus v. AFSCME this summer.

So their greedy plans are getting extreme.

As has been reported, they are making the lawmakers they fund (with someone else’s money) rewrite laws to increase union cash flow and to preserve their ability to seize money.

Several unions’ executives have given their staff and local representatives a different charge – get as many people to sign irrevocable membership cards as quickly as possible. The Federation of State Employees started doing this last year.

The Freedom Foundation has started hearing complaints from classified school employees like bus drivers, janitors and classroom assistants about this new workplace bullying. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1948 which collects dues from these school employees is now also following the “phone contract” business model.

Everyone is expected to demonstrate support for the cause of the working man by simply signing a card to symbolize support. If someone questions why existing members are being pressured to sign something again, they are assured it is only symbolic.

But the fine print of the document is far from symbolic:

“(t)his authorization (for pay deduction) shall remain in effect and shall be irrevocable unless I revoke it by sending written notice via U.S. mail to both the employer and PSE SEIU 1948 during the period not less than thirty (30)  days and not more than forty-five (45) days before the annual anniversary date of this agreement . . . This authorization shall be automatically renewed as an irrevocable monthly dues authorization from year to year unless I revoke it in writing during the window period referenced above”

This means everyone pressured into signing the new contract may not stop paying the union unless they:

  • remember what day they signed the irrevocable contract to pay;
  • count back from that day 45 days to find the 15 day acceptable window;
  • find the address of the union and mail them a letter during the15 day window; and
  • mail another letter to the employer during the acceptable 15 days.

If the expected court ruling is announced this summer those who forget what day they signed this document may never be allowed to resign.

This sleazy union practice has been used by SEIU in Oregon. Despite 900 SEIU members’ repeated attempts to resign, the union executives refuse to honor their wishes. Some have requested the revocation of their dues forty different times and are still refused their Constitutional right to freedom from association.

The Freedom Foundation has sued on behalf of these workers in Oregon. The spread of this scam to Washington may require similar action.

Classified employees in Washington should be warned not to sign anything SEIU offers.

Those who want a 29 percent reduction in SEIU payment may opt out using this instant form.