On May 14, the California Globe published a story about the Freedom Foundation’s recent lawsuit against the state of California for denying our request for clearly disclosable records under suspicious circumstances. The suit, filed a day earlier, seeks to force the state to supply these documents after violating our constitutional right to access public material.
Our motive is no secret: We want to use these records to expand our outreach program to more public employees and inform them of their right to cease union dues payments as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.
Likely protecting the already failing state workers’ unions — which have collectively lost nearly 30 percent of their membership in the nearly two years since Janus — officials working at the state’s Human Resources Department decided we weren’t entitled to review their records.
Unfortunately for unions, though, arbitrarily denying the Freedom Foundation’s requests makes it look to their members like they have something to hide. Probably because they do.
In fact, within a day of the May 14 news story, more than 50 state workers from SEIU 1000 alone have decided to part ways with their union. In total, nearly 80 public employees parted ways with their unions in California.
For a union like SEIU 1000, which charges its members close to $900 every year, a loss of 50 members translates to $45,000 the union can never again collect.
We couldn’t be happier that our outreach efforts and resources assisted nearly 80 public employees take back their rights and pocket some extra cash in the process — especially at a time when so many families across California are wondering where their next paycheck is coming from.
If you’re a public employee, there’s never been a better time to reconsider your financial ties to your union.