The House Government Accountability Committee will hear HB 25 onTuesday, December 5, 2017, at 10:30 am. This bill—sponsored by Representative Scott Plakon—, if passed, would add an additional requirement to an employee union’s annual renewal with the Public Employees Relations Commission. That requirement is that each certified bargaining unit of a registered employee organization (UFF) must provide the number of eligible employees for union membership and the number of members who pay dues or do not pay dues. If that information is not presented then the certification for that bargaining unit is revoked.
If the certified bargaining unit dues paying membership is less than 50%, the unit is decertified and that bargaining unit must petition PERC for recertification as the exclusive bargaining representative within one month after the date on which the bargaining unit applied for renewal. Application for PERC recertification requires either voluntary recognition of the union by the employer or petition to PERC for recertification upon submission of call for union representation election cards from at least 30% of the full bargaining unit. If sufficient cards are submitted to PERC, then an election would be held to re-establish or decertify the union. Note: The application for recertification must occur within one month of the initial date of application for annual renewal.
If this sounds like déjà vu, it is. Rep. Plakon sponsored the same legislation during the 2017 Legislative Session!
What you Can Do:
Please call committee members at their district office or their Tallahassee office tomorrow or Tuesday
- This bill (H.B. 25) comes as no surprise as we have seen efforts like this before in Florida – and numerous nationwide attempts — to take away workers’ rights. This politically motivated legislation is a solution looking for a problem that doesn’t exist in Florida.
- We are a union of members who choose to participate – no one can be forced to join our union. Florida is a right-to-work state where union membership or payment of union dues cannot be compelled.
- The Florida Constitution gives employees the right to join a union to give them a strong voice regarding wages and working conditions. This measure would take away that right.
- The bill is also potentially unconstitutional as it exempts first responder unions and is a direct attack on FEA unions and displays strong gender bias since 75% of FEA members are women.
- This bill is not needed. Florida is a right-to-work state, which means people join only because they want to join.
- Our union is the voice of our members and their students – every student, every school, every college, every university, and every day. Our teachers’ working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. You cannot separate the two.
As was stated by FEA in 2011, “Florida law permits public employees to obtain an election to decertify and exclusive bargaining representative.” “Any employee or group of employees which no longer desires to be represented by the certified bargaining agent may file with the commission a petition to revoke certification. FEA believes legislative proposals that target unions representing public employees by requiring recertification of unions with membership below 50 percent of the employees is unconstitutional. These measures are simply to make life more difficult in as many ways as they can so in the end member unions go away.”