As expected, unions in no hurry to comply with Janus

As expected, unions in no hurry to comply with Janus

As expected, unions in no hurry to comply with Janus

The Freedom Foundation is well aware that government unions in Oregon aren’t making it easy for their “members” to opt out of dues payments in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.

Although countless public employees have successfully opted out since the June 27 decision, many others have contacted us for assistance after learning that their unions have refused to immediately stop deducting dues from their pay.

It’s a good thing the Freedom Foundation saw this coming. After all, we helped state-paid caregivers overcome similar problems after the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Harris v. Quinn.

Most notably, both SEIU and AFSCME added deceptive fine print to their membership applications in preparation for Harris designed to lock workers into paying dues indefinitely. The Freedom Foundation sued SEIU over this practice earlier this year.

SEIU is now responding in a similar fashion to public employees seeking to exercise their rights under Janus.

Consider that. The U.S. Supreme Court says you have a constitutional right to choose for yourself, but when you actually go to exercise it, you can’t because of the fine print in your membership card.

AFSCME, meanwhile, has even attempted to claim that members can’t leave their union and stop paying dues until the expiration of their union’s collective bargaining agreement – which in some cases is years away.

Rest assured, this will not stand. Whatever the restriction, the Freedom Foundation will be taking action to ensure that Janus is properly enforced and public employees’ rights are honored to the fullest.

Public employees can learn more about their constitutional rights by visiting or contacting us at

In the meantime, it’s been truly astounding to see Oregon workers’ reactions to the Janus decision and the Freedom Foundation’s work. Below are just a few of the messages we’ve received from grateful workers:

“I am extremely happy to hear of the Supreme Court decision and was met first thing today with an email explaining how I will no longer be forced to pay any dues to SEIU 503! I hope that more members follow the lead set forth by the Freedom Foundation and opt out immediately!  Your foundation has been vigilant in defending workers’ freedoms and rights in this country and everyone there should be proud of that… thank you again to the Freedom Foundation and keep up the great work!”

– Oregon county employee

 “Thanks so much!! I’ve always been fair share, but sent a certified letter anyway!!… The union has never helped me, I’ve always taken care of myself! Thanks so much for making this happen.”

– Oregon state employee

“Yes, finally! I’ve been asking where the dues go for over 20 years. I am signing and sending this (opt-out form) today. THANK YOU!”

– Oregon city employee

“Thanks for your help and all you do to fight these corrupt unions.”

– Oregon state employee

“I have already taken care of the corruption in my world by going fair share. Until SEIU is either abolished, or we get a real labor union instead of corrupt corporation out to make money and further their own agenda on the backs of the hard working employees, it will remain that way. I also encourage everyone I know to do the same.”

– Oregon state employee

“For 28 years I have never been a registered public union member but forced to belong to the corrupt organizations without my written consent.  Now toward the end of my career I might be freed from a political force that I have never agreed with…Thank you again for all your work this last decade for the working class that has been pilfered by these political organizations and have always push the political values that I personally do not/have not agreed with.”

– Oregon state employee

“I greatly appreciate the work your organization has done to restore freedom and liberty in America. I cannot thank you enough.”

– Oregon public university employee

“What a glorious day for freedom! I want to help. Tell me how I can get out of my union and stop paying fair share.  My coworkers are ready to throw off their shackles of oppression as well… Thanks!”

– Oregon public employee

“I have never been given the option of anything except joining. I had to look up information about opting out. And never did I hear about the political donation dues. I mentioned this to the Union Rep and she stated that they don’t advertise those options. Well that’s a bit dishonest isn’t it?”

– Oregon state employee

Needless to say, we greatly appreciate hearing the stories of workers who have successfully opted out – and we’ll help those who haven’t yet been able to.

Public employees hoping to learn more about their constitutional rights can visit or contacting us at

Policy Analyst
Ben Straka serves as a policy analyst for the Freedom Foundation. His responsibilities include an array of policy research and reform efforts, primarily centered around labor relations, education and government transparency within the states. In addition, he provides support for the Freedom Foundation’s Outreach program and works closely with the rest of the team to hold local governments and public-sector unions accountable to state residents. Ben joined the Freedom Foundation in May 2016. He is a native of Eugene, Ore., and a graduate of Corban University, where he studied political science and business.