Five South Suburban College public safety officers have filed a federal lawsuit, Presta v. Cook County Teachers Union, after the college and their union refused to stop deducting money from their paychecks for union dues.
Five police officers, detectives and dispatchers from the South Suburban College Police Department, resigned from Cook County College Teachers Union, AFT Local 1600 (CCTU) in November 2018. After demanding that the college stop deducting union dues from their paychecks, both the college and union ignored their requests. This is in violation of the law under the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME.
The Supreme Court’s decision in reaffirmed workers’ First Amendment right not to financially support a government union. Public employees who joined a government union prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling establishing that workers “must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them” should now be able to opt out of union dues. The CCTU’s actions are in direct contradiction to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Instead of allowing these eight public safety employees to exercise their First Amendment rights, the union is continuing to take their money and let them out of the union.
With the help of attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center, the nonprofit law firm that represented plaintiff Mark Janus in Janus V. AFSCME, the eight officers, detectives and dispatchers are fighting back.
“We are dedicated to the safety of students and staff at South Suburban College, yet we feel our rights are not respected or protected by the college or union,” said Salvatore Presta, South Suburban College detective and the lead plaintiff in the case. “We were paying over $600 a year to a union we feel didn’t represent our interests and we had no back up from the college community.”