Over the past year, Freedom Foundation canvassers have spoken with more than 50,000 California public employees face-to-face at their places of work. In cities such as Sacramento, Fresno, Stockton, San Bernardino, Riverside, and many others, you’re likely to run into one of our friendly canvassers.
While not everyone is happy to see us, the vast majority of public employees appreciate our presence at their buildings and are happy to take a flier and consider their options.
When asked by our canvassers why they are interested in dropping their union membership, public employees respond in a number of ways. Here are just a few:
- Their union is unable to negotiate a new contract
- A lack of return for the cost of their union dues
- Dislike for their current union leadership and/or union in general
- Lack of justification for union dues increases
- Political spending they don’t agree with
It’s not uncommon for dues-paying workers to be skeptical of their union leadership’s ability to bargain for a good contract. Take, for example, UCLA, where many employees have been working without a contract for 2-5 years. Only recently have some groups of employees successfully negotiated a contract, while unions like AFSCME have still not been able to negotiate a contract on behalf of their members.
Other government employees have expressed concern that their union is spending too much money on politics. In California alone, AFSCME has spent more than $4.7 million in the past four years while SEIU has spent more than $34.2 million during the same time period.
Many public employees often express concern that their dues payments could be much lower if their union simply focused on negotiating a good contract.
Not surprisingly, nearly all public employees are concerned about the amount of dues they pay every year to their union. In 2018, the California Teachers Association (CTA) announced a $23 per year dues increase. This is on top of the already mind-numbing $1200 they pay yearly in dues. Other public employees in the state typically pay $800 or more per year.
Whether you’re interested in saving some extra cash for your family, disgusted by your unions political spending, don’t like your leadership, or you don’t believe that your union is capable of bargaining for a fair contract, there’s never been a better time to reconsider your financial obligation to your union.
If you’re a public employee in California, take a peak outside your building. There’s a good chance a friendly and knowledgeable Freedom Foundation canvasser is nearby to help explain your rights.