The Wall Street Journal published an editorial in Tuesday’s paper detailing how two teachers are suing the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation, because union officials are forcing workers to pay dues in violation of their rights as recognized in the Foundation’s Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court victory. 

The editorial quotes one of the two teachers represented by Foundation staff attorneys and shows how CTU and the Chicago School Board continued to take money from them in violation of their First Amendment rights: 

When the CTU went on strike last fall, Joanne Troesch and Ifeoma Nkemdi didn’t want to stop teaching. Ms. Nkemdi says her second graders are “incredible, highly intelligent young people” but “already disenfranchised,” so “I didn’t feel they needed to be away from school, period. . . . Time away was going to be detrimental.” 

Both teachers quit the union, and in late October asked Chicago Public Schools to stop deducting dues from their paychecks. But even after receiving notice, the union continued to pilfer $35.71 from Ms. Troesch and $59.51 from Ms. Nkemdi every two weeks. The CTU claims members may revoke permission for dues deductions only during the month of August, and anyone who leaves after that must pay until the next escape window. 

The editorial also cites Foundation attorney Bill Messenger on such union-created “escape window” schemes: 

As of May 1, there were some 89 active lawsuits nationwide challenging similar union “escape windows” or the forced collection of dues, says Bill Messenger, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation lawyer who argued Janus. He represents the two teachers. 

The editorial concludes that federal courts need to enforce the Janus decision against these “escape window” schemes: 

[CTU’s top lawyer] says the union operates “stringently within the letter of the law.” The union’s escape-window shenanigans show otherwise. Federal courts need to enforce Janus or it will have no meaning. 

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