When your pulling up on the ratchet do you just pull the lever up? I have found with some bindings they open easier if you pull the ratchet lever up with your main fingers while applying pressure downwards on the opposite end of the lever with your thumb.
Wow thats hard to explain, but hopefully it will help
That's what I do with my Unions. Especially on the toe strap ratchet.
When I struggle to release it it's because I've forgotten that part - applying opposite pressure.
Really not an issue; no struggle or brute force required that way.