Oregon AFSCME’s executive board voted to withhold endorsement next year from any state legislator who voted to divert public employee retirement contributions, the union announced Oct. 1. The executive board vote was unanimous, and was taken in response to the passage earlier this year of Senate Bill 1049, which reduced contributions to public employee retirement accounts and used the funds to fill in the financial hole caused by the 2008 financial meltdown. Oregon AFSCME represents over 26,000 public sector employees.
“Legislators that voted for SB 1049 devalued the work we do on behalf of the people of Oregon,” said Oregon AFSCME president Jeff Klatke. “No interviews, no endorsement, no financial support. Our members generously donate their time and money to our political efforts to support legislators who fight for workers regardless of political party. … Legislators that voted ‘yes’ turned around and told our members they were paid too much and the work they do is worthless. AFSCME members support those elected officials that support them and the work that they do.”