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AFSCME

How State Employees in Oregon Can Opt Out of AFSCME Dues

For years, state employees were required to pay union dues to AFSCME as a condition of employment and the state automatically deducted union dues from workers’ paychecks.

However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), state employees can now demand that AFSCME cease withholding union dues/fees from their paychecks.

The court ruled that the mandatory dues requirement violated workers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association, and that public employees have the right to choose for themselves whether to pay any union dues or fees.

You can opt out of AFSCME dues by filling out the form below, printing it and mailing it to AFSCME.

To opt out of AFSCME dues:

  1. Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
  2. On the next page, click the link to open your customized form. You will also receive an email with a link to your form.
  3. Print the form. If you check the appropriate box below, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
  4. Sign and date the form.
  5. Mail the completed form to AFSCME at the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
  • We will not contact you unless you choose to receive updates from us
  • e.g. DEQ, DOC, Dept. of State Lands, etc.

FAQs

How do I get AFSCME to stop deducting dues from my paychecks?

Completing the form above will generate a letter you can send to AFSCME to resign your formal union membership and cease paying dues.

Send a signed copy of your letter to:

Stacy Chamberlain, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 75
1400 Tandem Ave. NE
Salem, OR 97301

We highly recommend sending the letter via certified mail so you have proof of delivery. Keep a copy of the letter and your certified mail receipt for your reference.

How much are AFSCME dues?

AFSCME dues for state employees range from 1.27 to 1.5 percent of your salary per month, plus an additional flat monthly fee in some cases. The average state employee paid over $800 in AFSCME dues last year.

If I stop paying dues to the union, will I still receive the same wages and benefits specified in AFSCME's contract with the state?

Yes. AFSCME has arranged to be the “exclusive representative” of its bargaining units, meaning it is impossible for workers to get out of the terms of the contract, even if they cease paying dues.

Does opting out affect my pension?

No. Under state law, a union contract is binding on all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether they are technically union “members.” Your compensation, benefits and conditions of employment are all set by the contract and will remain unchanged regardless of whether you are technically a union member and regardless of whether you choose to pay union dues.

Will I lose my health insurance?

No. Your health insurance and other employer-provided benefits will remain the same regardless of your union membership status.

Will the union stop helping me with workplace issues?

The union has been recognized by the state as the “exclusive representative” of all members of the bargaining unit, whether formal union members or not. In return for the monopoly on this particular service, unions have a corresponding legal duty to provide fair representation.

How will my relationship with the union change if I resign my membership in AFSCME and stop paying dues?

While the terms of the contract will still govern your employment, union officials commonly prohibit nonmembers from participating in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings, voting for union officers or participating in contract ratification votes. You’ll also be ineligible for certain “members only” benefits, such as discounts on additional insurance or deals the union has arranged with businesses, if any. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.

How does AFSCME spend my dues money?

Much of your local AFSCME union dues are sent to the union’s statewide affiliate, AFSCME Council 75, and AFSCME’s national headquarters.

According to reports AFSCME Council 75 must file with the U.S. Department of Labor, the union had a $15.5 million budget in 2017.

  • Over $1 million was spent on political candidates and causes.
  • $150 thousand was spent on hotels, travel, food and catering for union staff.
  • $21,000 was spent on a direct mail campaign opposing the Freedom Foundation’s efforts to inform public employees of their constitutional rights.
  • $26 thousand was spent on union promotional items.

In addition:

  • 20 AFSCME Council 75 employees were paid six-figure salaries last year.
  • AFSCME Council 75 executive director Stacy Chamberlain received a salary of $140,572 last year.
  • AFSCME International president Lee Saunders received a salary of $359,072 last year.

The IRS requires unions to annually file a form 990 tax return. These are public documents and can be found online at sites like the Foundation Center.

A few public sector unions are required to file an LM-2 report with the U.S. Department of Labor. They can be viewed at the U.S. DOL union search page.