Freedom Foundation

Even Its Own Delegates Don’t Buy AFSCME Council 57’s Lies

In a recent Facebook post , AFSCME Council 57 bragged that the majority of its members are sticking with their union and that everything is fine — notwithstanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last summer in Janus v. AFSCME banning mandatory dues and fees once and for all.

Unfortunately for the union, its own delegates have exposed its rhetoric as a lie.

AFSCME 57, based in Oakland, Calif., represents 27,000 public workers. However, a recent post on AFSMCE Local 2620’s website reports Council 57 has experienced a massive decline in union membership and dues payments.

According to Local 2620, Council 57 has lost nearly $1.1 million in dues deductions since Janus was issued just 10 months ago. Based on some basic math, this equates to the loss of 3,400 members — 12.5 percent of AFSCME 57’s entire member base.

But the shrinking revenues aren’t the only evidence of the union’s problems. There’s also been a decline in services offered.

Local 2620 also claims Council 57 is proposing an $8 increase in monthly membership dues. According to their current pay structure, this would be a nearly 25 percent increase for full-time employees.

Dues-paying members might also like to know that about 55 cents out of every dollar in dues money goes directly to Council 57, leaving only 45 cents per dollar for their local union.

This dues structure is one of the most unbalanced in California short of the California Teachers Association.

While any private-sector entrepreneur knows a floundering operation needs to consider cutting its prices rather than raising them, that isn’t how AFSCME 57’s leaders roll.

Fortunately, Local 2620 was kind enough to make the case for us:

The timing of the proposed increase is poor, coming immediately in the wake of Janus. Members who are already on the fence about the unions do not need Koch brothers to convince them to quit the union. The union would have done so itself.

Many unions, including AFSCME, appear to be stuck in a pre-Janus mindset. The idea that a union could increase its rates while providing no extra services violates an important economic law.

Public workers are no longer forced to buy their wares; they can finally choose for themselves whether the product is worth the price. And in huge numbers, they’re deciding it isn’t.

AFSCME Council 57