Chicago Tribune: South Suburban College public safety workers who opted out of union sue for past dues, right to bargain independently

In Presta v. Cook County Community College Teachers Union the Liberty Justice Center represents five South Suburban College public safety officers. The officers filed a federal lawsuit after the college and their union refused to stop deducting money from their paychecks for union dues. 

The excerpt below is from an article by Zak Koeske that appeared May 27, 2020, in the Chicago Tribune.

“These guys aren’t making bank by winning this lawsuit,” said Schwab, a senior attorney with the Liberty Justice Center, which represented Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services employee Mark Janus in the landmark Supreme Court case that established a public worker’s right not to pay fees to a union they don’t want to join.

Schwab said the South Suburban College lawsuit, one of more than a dozen such suits the nonprofit legal clinic has filed across the country, is about principle and fighting for the rights provided for in the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling.

In a statement on the Liberty Justice Center’s website, lead plaintiff Salvatore Presta said he joined the suit because he didn’t believe the union represented his interests.

“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,” Presta, a South Suburban College detective, said in the statement. “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.”

Read the full article in the Chicago Tribune.

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