MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—Several Minnesota public-employee unions say they have gained members since the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME last June, despite the ruling enabling workers to stop paying anything to unions while still benefiting from representation.
AFSCME Council 5, anticipating the decision, spent two years campaigning for fee-payers to join the union, associate director Tim Henderson told the Minnesota Post, and when they realized none of their paycheck was going to AFSCME, “they started calling up, asking how can I sign up? We had a big influx in the weeks and months where we thought we lost a bunch.” The Minnesota Association for Professional Employees, which represents state government professional workers, says its membership has risen from about 10,500 to more than 11,000. “We were definitely prepared—and probably overly prepared—for the worst,” said spokesperson Ashley Erickson, so it focused on getting newly hired workers to join. However, she added, the union has lost more money from people who stopped paying fees than it has gained in dues from new members, she added. The Education Minnesota union also gained members, said President Denise Specht, crediting “thousands of conversations face-to-face about what our members liked and valued.”