Join Our Union

AFSCME’s 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. We work to ensure dignity and security for public service workers across the country. By organizing new members, we build our capacity to strengthen public services, improve working conditions, negotiate decent wages and safeguard pensions and health benefits.

As part of the AFL-CIO, AFSCME is one of the nation’s leading advocates for working women and men. We believe everyone deserves a chance to fulfill the American Dream. But today too many politicians are siding with Wall Street — protecting the interests of corporate tycoons and bankers — while the rest of us, who work hard and play by the rules, are left behind.

AFSCME’s professional staff of negotiators, staff representatives, and pension, legal, organizing and budget experts — as well as a host of other talented specialists — work every day to protect and improve our members’ wages, working conditions and pension benefits. Our leaders, taking direction from our members, speak with a united voice grounded in a determination to protect workers’ rights to decent wages and benefits, to a stable retirement, and to laboring each day with dignity.

Interested in winning a union in your workplace? Contact our Organizing Director, Shane Anderson at (916) 291-8749 or

Not a member yet? Fill out our membership card today.

FAQs About Joining a Union

Do union workers get higher wages?

Yes. Workers who are union members earn 26.7 percent more than non-union workers. Union wages are even greater for women and people of color. Women and African Americans represented by unions earn between 30.5 and 32.8 percent more than their non-union counterparts. And Latino workers with the union advantage make 53.2 percent more than those not represented by a union.

Do union workers get better benefits?

Yes. Union workers are more likely than their non-union counterparts to have access to health care and pension benefits. Ninety-five percent of union members have health insurance and a pension plan available – versus approximately 68 percent (health insurance) and 63 percent (pension) of those not in a union. 

Workers who are union members earn 26.7 percent more than non-union workers.

Why do I need a union now?

Politicians and pundits are scapegoating public employees and the services we provide. They say we earn too much money, our benefits are too rich and we have too much political power. Unions have been the bulwark of the middle class for years and AFSCME is continuing the fight for prosperity and opportunity for all working families.

Their goal is simple: Privatize our jobs, strip us of our rights and dismantle the public services that make our communities better places to live.

Whether you are a public employee or work for a private company providing public services, we have to act now to stop the right-wing rush to lower our wages and benefits, and eliminate our rights. That’s why helping more workers join unions and bargain for a better life is so important.

As a union, we work to build public and political support for the vital services we provide that keep our families safe and make our communities strong.

Middle-class decline mirrors the fall of unions—in one chart

Unions raise the standards for all workers. Here are just some of the ways:

  • Family & Medical Leave ACT
  • Pregnancy & Parental LEAVE
  • All Breaks at Work (including Lunch Breaks) Weekends & Paid Vacation
  • Sick Leave
  • Minimum Wage
  • Social Security
  • Overtime & Holiday Pay Child Labor Laws
  • Privacy Rights
  • Civil Rights

Interested in winning a union in your workplace? Contact our Organizing Director, Shane Anderson at (916) 291-8749 or