AFGE welcomed 4,085 federal and D.C. government employees to the AFGE family in May!
Our net gain in May was 436, the largest net gain since October 2018. Each month, we organize thousands of new members, but thousands also retire, leave federal service, exit bargaining unit positions, or otherwise resign their membership.
AFGE locals and districts have done a great job organizing new members despite enormous challenges, including this attrition.
In May, seven districts registered a net gain in membership with District 12 achieving the largest net gain.
“This is our second-best month for new members in three years. Our first was in April, when we added a remarkable 4,593 new members,” said AFGE Membership and Organization Director Dave Cann. “We are routinely adding over 4,000 members per month now, really growing at a great rate.”
AFGE has been trying to organize young workers and retirees to serve as mentors. In May, the number of YOUNG members went up to 51,358 from 50,960 the previous month. The number of retiree members, however, dipped slightly to 15,737 from 15,748.
The key to success is the locals
Locals are working hard to bring in new members. We get our biggest gains from New Employee Orientations, where we explain to new employees that they have a chance to have a voice on the job.
For employees who have never had this chance, it is a wildly exciting notion. For people who have been a union member before, it’s obviously an easy choice.
The councils and districts are also working hard to bring people in. For us to grow and add more than 4,000 new members a month, it is always going to be a group effort.
AFGE is also using new and meaningful forms of outreach: phone banking, text to survey, geofencing, and most importantly, a lot of one-on-one conversations.
“People are joining to empower themselves. This means our numbers aren’t just growing, which they are, but we are building our union with members who want to be active, who want a say, who want to have ownership of their workplace,” Cann added.