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Education

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks New Law Aimed At Teachers Unions

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U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker halted a new process for teachers to get union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

A federal judge is temporarily blocking a new Indiana law – Senate Enrolled Act 251 – aimed at teachers unions. It was set to take effect Thursday and would require teachers to sign language that unions believe is unconstitutional and anti-union.

U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker halted a new process for teachers to get union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks. It requires them to sign a form saying they’re aware of their right to not join a union.

Unions claim that amounts to coerced speech – a First Amendment violation – but the state says union members have other ways to pay dues if they want. The judge’s decision protects teachers’ existing union contracts and right to free speech. 

READ MORE: Federal Judge To Consider Injunction Against New Indiana Teacher Union Law

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Shannon Adams is president of the Martinsville Classroom Teachers Association and a plaintiff in the case. She said the decision is great, but it’s discouraging to think lawmakers created the measure to begin with.

“They either don’t respect us or they’re scared of us and I’m not sure which it is” she said.

Barker’s preliminary injunction will last until the case is resolved in court or the judge decides to lift it.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.