The Oregon chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has experienced monumental membership and financial losses in just the first year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which affirmed the right of public employees to stop paying union dues.
The release of AFT’s most recent LM-2 report is the latest in an alarming pattern for the leaders of the state’s government employee unions. According to Department of Labor filing, Oregon’s AFT has lost a combined 4,133 members and agency fee-payers over that span.
That translates to a 35 percent decline from the previous year and a loss in revenue approaching $1 million.
This is the second-largest decline in the state of Oregon, trailing only the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA), which just recently reported a 36 percent loss.
Membership declines of this magnitude are not being seen anywhere else in the country, and they are entirely attributable to the work of the Freedom Foundation.
AFT members in Oregon have received tens of thousands of door-to-door visits, hundreds of thousands of mail pieces, emails, and texts all informing them of their newly affirmed rights to leave their union.
“The message is clear,” said Freedom Foundation Oregon Director Mike Nearman. “When workers know they have the ability to leave their union, they do. Maybe that’s why the number one priority of unions these days isn’t dealing with the concerns of their members. It’s keeping as many as possible from hearing the truth from the Freedom Foundation.
“And judging from the numbers,” he said, “they’re doing a pretty poor job of that, too.”