It’s been a strange year, and 2020 continues to throw new surprises our way every single day.
A great example of this is the SEIU International Lavender Caucus, the little-known affinity group for LGBT SEIU members whose stated goal is to “facilitate communications between LGTBIQ communities and the labor movement.”
SEIU International has plenty of groups like this, including affinity groups for Hispanic members and just about every other subset of membership you could imagine.
The difference between the Lavender Caucus and the other ones appears to be the hostile tone it takes to its own parent union, which donated $25,000 to the caucus last year.
The Lavender Caucus has ideas of its own and wants to make sure its members’ voices are heard. While SEIU International hasn’t openly called for defunding the police in the wake of the recent events in the United States, the Lavender Caucus is one of many groups behind a petition to have SEIU disassociate itself from every law enforcement union it is affiliated with.
But this isn’t the surprise. SEIU International funded 24 groups to the tune of $946,000 in 2019 that either directly support defunding the police or are interested in shifting resources away from police departments.
What’s surprising is that the Lavender Caucus willingly ceased dues deductions for its members for an entire year.
While the cost of dues is relatively small, only $20 per year, this is exactly what the Freedom Foundation asked every union to do in March when we proposed that state governors across the country impose a three-month moratorium on union dues to help introduce more spending money into the economy and keep small businesses afloat.
While it’s difficult to say what kind of financial hit the SEIU Lavender Caucus will take from stopping all dues deductions for an entire year, perhaps SEIU should take the hint from their caucuses and give back to their members.
We’re all in this together, right?