Instead of addressing critical economic challenges facing hardworking Floridians, some Florida legislators are trying to make things even harder for teachers, nurses, bus drivers, and other public employees that form the backbone of our communities.
Everyday Floridians are facing serious economic challenges: from low pay, a lack of serious job opportunities, high health insurance premiums, and more. Instead of addressing these critical issues, some Florida legislators are trying to make things even harder for teachers, nurses, bus drivers, and other public employees that form the backbone of our communities.
HB 25/SB 1036 would require regular recertification of public employee unions. If membership fell below half of the workplace it represented, the union would be decertified. There are several problems with this bill. First, note that unions for firefighters and police are exempted from this legislation, meaning the bill specifically targets only some unions like teachers and nurses. Put simply, it’s a partisan political attack and nothing more. Second, the legislation is simply unnecessary as union members already vote regularly on who will lead their union – just as citizens vote on who will represent them in government – and those employees also vote on the terms negotiated by their leaders in contract ratifications. Third, a process already exists where anyone in a workplace – union member or not – can call a vote on whether or not to keep their union.
The only reason for this legislation is to attack one of the few tools Floridians have to earn better wages and benefits for their hard work: unions.
Let’s be clear: at a time of rising income inequality where major corporations increasingly wield immense power, we should be making it easier for Floridians to organize and join a union, not harder. Unions are democratic institutions where members have regular elections and choose their leadership. They are essential components to a free society, which is why we’ll always defend the right to collectively bargain, a right enshrined in Florida’s Constitution.