By Jason Dudash, Freedom Foundation —
Service Employees International Union Local 503 (SEIU 503) has been a major focus of the Freedom Foundation since the organization expanded into Oregon in 2015, and as one of the state’s biggest government unions and political spenders it’s certainly earned all the love.
Since the landmark Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME in June 2018 – which recognized the right all public employees to opt out of union membership and dues without penalty — members of SEIU 503 have received hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail, emails and texts, as well as visits to their homes and offices, all designed to inform them of their newly affirmed rights and highlight the union’s hypocrisy and deceptive tactics.
Payroll data from the state of Oregon quickly validated our efforts. Public records requests showcased that a whopping 33 percent of state employees and over 40 percent of homecare workers represented by the union have exercised their right to opt out of union dues within the first year of Janus.
The release of their 2019 LM-2 report further highlights the extent of our successes by showcasing the damage done to their pocketbooks. In addition to the now-expected lower membership numbers — even as government continues to grow at an alarming rate — and collecting more than $2 million less in members’ dues from the previous year, 503’s political spending has dropped by more than 60 percent since we began pre-Janusoutreach.
In its 2017 report the hyper-partisan union spent more than $4.1 million of its members’ dues dollars on liberal political activities and lobbying in Oregon.
By 2018 SEIU 503’s political spending had dropped sharply to $2.2 million, and the newest report shows the even further decline to just $1.6 million.
This is not only a victory for the Freedom Foundation; it is a victory for all Oregonians and particularly a victory for public employees who were once forced against their will to fund political causes for which they objected. SEIU’s better days are clearly behind them.
SEIU 503 is a fading organization struggling to maintain credibility and relevance by:
- denying members their constitutional right to opt out by holding them hostage to so called annual “opt-out windows”;
- forging workers’ signatures on membership cards, all so it can continue to pay its union bosses very comfortable six-figure salaries on the back of working Oregonians while pushing their ultra-liberal political agenda.
Until SEIU starts following the law, they can certainly expect to continue to receive our unwavering attention.