Many people have questions for APSA: who we are, how our membership works, and why we exist. Below are common questions, and our responses.
What is APSA?
The American Public Servants’ Association (APSA) is a non-partisan non-profit union alternative for public-sector employees. APSA has three tiers of membership (learn more here) that provide legal services, supplemental insurance policies, and discounts to nationwide retailers.
Will APSA help me if I have an issue at work? What kind of help can APSA provide?
Both Blue Members and Red APSA Members have access to a variety of legal services. For routine questions, members are welcome to contact our team for advice and assistance. For individual legal matters, members will be assigned an attorney based on their state and the particulars of their matter. APSA’s in-house legal team will assist on matters that involve multiple members
Am I eligible to join APSA?
Any current public-sector employee in the United States is eligible to join APSA. We’re unable to accept membership from private-sector employees, or our colleagues internationally.
Am I really able to leave my union?
Yes. The landmark 2018 Janus vs. AFSCME Supreme Court decision restored workers’ First Amendment right to choose whether or not they want to join a union. For years, in order to work for state and local governments, employees had to pay union dues as a condition of employment. This is no longer the case, though many workers have not been informed of their rights.
Will I be fired for leaving my union? Will I lose my healthcare or pension?
No. Union membership is not a condition of employment for public-sector employees.
If your employer is threatening your job because you have left your union, please let us know — we’d like to help you. Even after you leave your union, you will still benefit from the contract the union has negotiated with your employer for your position.
In most cases, your healthcare and pension are guaranteed by state law, and are completely separate from your employment contract. Which means, you will keep your same healthcare and pension benefits whether you are a union member or not. If you have questions about this, contact us for help understanding which of your benefits are guaranteed by state law.
How do I leave my union?
There are a variety of ways to leave, or “opt out” of your union.
Many employees joined a union when they were hired, signing a union membership card during their onboarding or orientation. Most people pay their union dues through automatic payroll deductions; you’re encouraged to take a look at your itemized paycheck to understand all the automatic payroll deductions you’re enrolled in.
Generally, the process of opting out is the same regardless of your individual situation: you resign your union membership in writing and provide written notice that you no longer authorize dues deductions from your payroll. There are many resources available to help you with this process.
We recommend the following resources to help with the opt-out process:
Absolutely not: APSA is pro-worker. Unions have served an incredibly important role in our country: we can thank unions for the 40-hour workweek, many workplace safety regulations, and weekends. Many families are proudly “union families,” counting their membership as a badge of honor.
However, many unions today spend dues on national politics or policy agendas that union members may or may not support: that’s where APSA comes in. Workers should be able to choose where their hard-earned money is spent. The cost of APSA membership is a fraction of the price of traditional union dues, and APSA’s membership fees will never be spent on politics or lobbying.
What are your payment options for my membership?
Membership can be paid either monthly or annually. Payment type and options can be managed on your member portal. Monthly payments will be treated as a monthly renewal, and annual payments will be treated as an annual renewal cycle.
All payments will be set to auto-renew, and payment receipts can be found in the member portal.
Membership that is billed monthly can be cancelled by the 15th day of the month, effective the end of the month (for example, if I want to cancel my membership August 1st, I must cancel by July 15th). The same is true for changes to your membership: if you upgrade or downgrade your membership plan, and you’re on a monthly renewal schedule, your change will take effect on the renewal date.
Membership that is billed annually can be cancelled up to 15 days before renewal. Changes you make to annual membership will take place on your annual renewal schedule.
Membership is non-refundable.
What’s the difference between the two organizations: APSA and APSCF?
The American Public Servants Association (APSA) is a 501(c)5 non-profit membership organization, providing support and resources to public-sector employees.
The American Public Servants Charitable Foundation (APSCF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation that exists to support the activities of APSA and APSA members. APSCF runs the Workers and Communities grant program to support the professional lives of APSA members. Grants received through the Workers and Community Grant Program will come from APSCF. Only APSA Red Members are eligible to receive these grants.