On May 1, the Freedom Foundation sent Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine a formal request from 462 public employees who all want out of their government unions.
Since last October, the Freedom Foundation has been assisting public employees in the state who want to opt out, and hundreds have successfully done so. However, unions like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have prevented hundreds more from exercising that right.
The Department of Administrative Services (DAS), which is partly responsible for directing the state’s labor relations and human resources policies, also received requests. They are collectively responsible and potentially liable for deducting union dues from public employees who have requested the deductions stop.
The Freedom Foundation opened its Ohio office in October 2019 and has been working tirelessly ever since to help educate more than 330,000 public employees about their First Amendment right to opt out of their union.
Since our arrival in the Buckeye State, we’ve canvassed more than 5,000 homes and government office buildings, sent tens of thousands of emails and mail to government employees, informing them of their Constitutional right to leave their union.
Meanwhile, opt-outs have averaged nearly 100 per month, a number that’s expected to exponentially grow as we continue with outreach efforts over the summer.
The Freedom Foundation’s efforts to educate Ohio’s public workforce are starting to work. Unfortunately, the unions are making it difficult for many to leave. That’s why we’re calling on the Governor and his administration to stop helping government unions to take advantage of hard-working Ohioans.
Despite what these unions believe, they are not allowed to ignore — and essentially deny — a member’s request to leave their union. That ended in 2018, with the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME — a ruling that granted all government employees the freedom of choice regarding union membership.
State Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) stated, “I was delighted when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Janus in favor of freedom for the worker and did away with the shackles of union dues. Frankly, this should not even be an issue any longer. Nevertheless, I’m thankful the Freedom Foundation is here in Ohio and fighting for workers’ rights.”
State Rep. Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) added, “The Janus decision is crystal clear. No public employee should ever have his money stolen again by a union. The state of Ohio now needs to stand up and do the right thing and protect individuals. I highly suggest DAS follow the United States Supreme Court’s ruling and stop collecting these unlawful fees on behalf of the unions.”
These public employees have said they want out of their unions. For their requests to be completely ignored is a disgrace and an injustice. The Governor needs to make the correct decision and right this monstrous wrong.
Lindsey Queen is the Ohio state director for the Freedom Foundation, a free-market organization committed to helping free public sector employees from union tyranny.