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November 28, 2022

More than 1,000 Pennsylvania workers quit AFSCME union in 2021

Pennsylvania public-sector unions cannot compel state workers to join a union, and many workers have exercised their right to leave in recent months.

Over a nine-month period in 2021, almost 1,200 workers left AFSCME Local 13, which represents state and local government workers in Pennsylvania, according to public records obtained by the Freedom Foundation, a group that educates workers about their right to leave government unions.

Aside from the ​​Pennsylvania State Education Association, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees is the state’s largest public-sector union, with about 20,000 members statewide.

Joe Mandrusiak, the Freedom Foundation’s Pennsylvania outreach director, attributed falling membership to union members not approving of how union leadership spends its funds.

AFSCME 13 collected $26.4 million in dues, with $7.1 million going to the national organization. Mandrusiak highlighted some of the union’s political spending and other cost in the Freedom Foundation’s article:

  • $3.2 million on travel.

  • $373,720 on food/catering.

  • $2.7 million on partisan organizations.

  • $440,000 sent to 14 groups that call for defunding the police.

  • $25,000 to DEMOS (Defund the Police and Prisons) group.

  • $21,500 to Coalition of Human Need (to tear down the law enforcement apparatus).

  • $465,100 to Planned Parenthood.

“It is really interesting what we’ve uncovered and members don’t know where their money’s going,” Mandrusiak said. “They’re spending ridiculous amounts of money on leisure and travel.”

State workers have left the union across Pennsylvania, but Mandrusiak noted a cluster in central Pennsylvania around Harrisburg, where many state employees work.

“Members are seeing the curtain pulled back on their union bosses,” Mandrusiak said. “They’re tired of having their hard-earned money sent to these radical groups.”

This article was originally posted on More than 1,000 Pennsylvania workers quit AFSCME union in 2021