In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that all state, local and federal government employees have a First Amendment right not to pay dues or fees to a labor union. These employees include public school teachers and other education workers, state employees, police officers, firefighters and other local government workers. A new report, The Janus Effect, presents updated data about the impact of the Janus decision. These statistics are more accurate and comprehensive than the data commonly used to assess Janus’ impact. They result from thousands of public records requests sent to hundreds of public entities across nearly two dozen states.
These data show clearly that the Janus decision has had a significant effect on public sector unions. A little more than one in five government workers have exercised their right to resign fully from their unions since the Janus ruling. Newly hired local and state government employees also appear to be declining union membership at a similar rate. The most immediate and significant effect of this is on the dues collection of public sector unions. We estimate that union revenue is down $733 million annually, based on the estimated 1.2 million government employees who have resigned or declined union membership.