Freedom Foundation

Oregon Public Employee Expresses Gratitude for Help Opting Out Of AFSCME

Tom Chappelle works for Multnomah County, Ore., in a small bargaining unit of around a dozen employees. He is not impressed with his union, AFSCME Council 75, believing it only cares about the larger units.

For 10 years, his unit did not get a raise, and at one point, it even had a pay decrease.

Adding insult to injury, Tom does not align with AFSCME’s political leanings and he cringed at the thought of his money supporting causes with which he disagrees.

In early 2018, Tom decided to opt out of the political portion of his dues payments. Later that year, the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME would affirm his right to decline membership and dues altogether. But that option wasn’t yet available when Tom confronted his union leaders.

AFSCME couldn’t bear the thought of no longer confiscating dues from his paycheck, so it stalled and tried every dirty trick in the book, claiming that it would continue to take full dues from him for nearly a year.

The union didn’t release its grasp until November 2019, and only then after the Freedom Foundation’s legal team intervened on his behalf.

Tom is now free to keep all of his hard-earned dollars without supporting AFSCME or its politics. Tom credits the Freedom Foundation for this and says thank you in the video below.