* John Tillman on the Fox News website…
Many public-sector workers in Illinois have indicated they don’t want to continue paying dues. In fact, more than 8,000 public employees stopped sending money to AFSCME Council 31 – that’s at least 12 percent of employees represented by AFSCME, the largest and most powerful government union in the state.
Each of those 8,000 workers had their own reasons for choosing to stop paying the union. Maybe they wanted to keep more of their hard-earned money to spend on their family. Maybe they didn’t like the union’s demands on taxpayers. Or maybe they didn’t like the union’s politics.
Notice that clever use of the phrase “stopped sending money to AFSCME Council 31.” He didn’t claim that 8,000 union members had dropped out. What he’s mainly talking about here are former fair share fee payers who are no longer required to pay their, um, fair share.
The union suspects Tillman’s 8,000 figure was derived from a January federal filing about December union membership which was incomplete due to a paperwork snafu with one of its largest employers. That filing made its membership look about 3,000 smaller than it actually was at the time. AFSCME says it had about 5,000 fair share fee payers at the time of the Janus ruling.
“Despite IPI’s direct-mail and paid advertising campaigns, only a relative handful of former members has dropped out,” a union official said.
And, according to AFSCME, the union has added 1,100 members since the Janus ruling and another 800 new signups are in the pipeline.
Keep in mind that former Gov. Bruce Rauner believed union members would leave AFSCME in droves after Janus. That apparently hasn’t happened even though the Policy Institute has been mailing members urging them to drop out of the union.
I asked the Policy Institute for a response an hour ago and didn’t hear back.
*** UPDATE *** From the Institute…
The number is based on the 2018 and 2017 LM-2s (comparing membership numbers between the two years). The 2018 LM-2 covers the preceding fiscal year (which runs Jan 1 - Dec 31 for AFSCME Council 31) and was filed with the federal government on April 1, 2019. That was the second filing for 2018 (AFSCME also filed one on March 27, then re-filed this on on April 1 with the same membership numbers).
I can’t speak to the ’snafu’, but AFSCME didn’t correct it in its April 1 re-filing of its LM-2 (attached).
The 2017 LM-2 showed AFSCME had 57,995 members. The latest 2018 form showed 57,000 members.
* And here’s a bit of news I missed…
The U. S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a petition from Illinois home health workers seeking to recover “fair share fees” they once paid to cover the costs of collective bargaining. That leaves in place a Seventh Circuit decision not to certify the proposed class of more than 80,000 health workers who want the roughly $32 million they’ve paid in fair share fees to the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois & Indiana since 2008 to be repaid in full.