Education Minnesota, the state’s most powerful teachers’ union, recently announced that it has expanded its “dues revocation window” from seven days to 30 days.
“The revocation window is the period of time when a current member may revoke their authorization to have union dues deducted from their paycheck,” Education Minnesota recently explained on its website. “Education Minnesota’s 2019-20 membership application will contain a 30-day revocation window, Sept. 1-30.”
The policy change comes after the Center of the American Experiment’s “Educated TeachersMN” project sent letters to all 337 public school superintendents in the state “informing them they are not in compliance with the Janus decision because union member dues are being deducted without the clear and affirmative consent of the employee.”
“The good news is Education Minnesota is expanding its opt-out window. (The bad news is the window still exists.) We believe this is in response to our efforts and is a defensive move to avoid a legal judgment other public-sector unions are facing in Minnesota and elsewhere,” said Catrin Wigfall, a policy fellow for the Center of the American Experiment.
Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Janus v. AFSCME decision, many union members are still stuck dealing with “window period” schemes, as The Minnesota Sun has reported. In fact, in January, a Brainerd public official became the first in the nation to successfully challenge her union’s window period.
Sandra Anderson, a clerk for the City of Brainerd Police Department, filed suit against the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 31 after she attempted to resign her membership and stop paying dues, but wasn’t allowed to do so until a designated 10-day window period.
“Ms. Anderson is the first of thousands of government employees to successfully challenge union boss ‘window period’ schemes designed to limit workers from exercising their First Amendment rights under Janus,” said Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work, which represented Anderson in the case.
“This victory serves as an inspiration for civil servants across the country who are stepping up to challenge union bosses’ coercive tactics to limit public employees’ constitutional rights,” Mix added.
Education Minnesota also announced that members who signed membership forms prior to the Janus ruling and did not sign a renewal form will “continue to be allowed to revoke their dues authorization at any time.”
As The Minnesota Sun reported in April, three of the largest public-sector unions in the country, including the National Education Association, have lost a combined 278,804 members and fee payers since the Janus ruling.
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