People all across Oregon have been contacted by a group called the Freedom Foundation. They’re telling us to drop our union membership. Who are they and what are their real intentions?
Their real agenda
Freedom Foundation signed on to a state “reform” plan that called for layoffs, hiring freezes, and privatizing public jobs. They made their justification for these extreme positions clear in the Bend Bulletin when they wrote about “protecting” taxpayers from “public employees’ handsome salaries and lavish benefits.” Last year, their coalition lobbied to slash public employee retirement by 40%.
When they’re talking to us, they sing a different tune:
Freedom Foundation Claim 1: If I leave the union, “will I still receive the same wages and benefits? Yes.”
FALSE: Study after study has shown that in states where more people are members in union, wages are higher because we bargain from a position of strength and push back on groups like Freedom Foundation who call for cuts.
Freedom Foundation Claim 2: “Does opting out affect my pension? No.”
FALSE: We have a pension because we have a strong union. Where unions are weak, like in Wisconsin, groups like Freedom Foundation have successfully cut pensions.
Freedom Foundation Claim 3: “SEIU doesn’t deliver for its members.”
FALSE: Here are a few of the ways members benefit by being in union.
- $367.80 per month. That’s the extra money in your pocket each month (on average) thanks to the healthcare benefits negotiated in your contract.
- $407 per month. That’s the extra money in your retirement account each month (on average) compared to the private sector.
- Wage increases. We have an opportunity in 2019 to bargain for better wages for every SEIU member, but we have no chance of succeeding if we’re divided and alone. In union, we can make gains.
Meanwhile, SEIU members across Oregon are choosing to remain in union. They’re staying because of the healthcare plan, the pension, or because they know SEIU is there for you when you least expect it, but need it the most, like when you’re mistreated or wrongfully terminated.