Action Alert: HB25 in Florida House

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!

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2017-2018 Bargaining Process Summary

GAU met regularly with university representatives from June to August to negotiate a new contract. As part of negotiations, we argued for better pay and other benefits after discussing strategies to obtain the best possible contract. During bargaining sessions, we presented research on benefits at comparable educational institutions in and out of Florida. We ran quantitative analyses of university offers to determine their impact. We also carefully discussed each offer. In addition, while negotiations were ongoing, we distributed a press release to media organizations about our efforts. As a result, the following story ran on WFSU: http://news.wfsu.org/ .

We are pleased to report that, on Sep. 21 and 22, Graduate Assistants voted unanimously to approve the 2017-18 contract changes.

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SB 1276 Hits the Senate

This is it! The chance we’ve been waiting for is finally here. The Senate Education Committee will consider the bill containing the partial fee waiver for which we’ve been fighting for years. It is essential that we make a strong show of support for this important piece of legislation.

At a minimum, we urge you to call the Senators listed in this post and tell them of your STRONG support for SB 1276. What will make an even bigger difference, though, is if we can PACK the room with supporters. Last year, we brought over 100 GAs to a single meeting. We can beat that number!

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GAU Fights HB 11

On Wednesday, March 8, a subcommittee of the Florida House heard Rep. Plakon’s HB 11, a bill that threatens the ability of most public unions across the state to function. The bill requires that public unions maintain at least 50% membership from their potential bargaining units or else face automatic decertification.

Despite impressive gains each and every year, GAU’s dues-paying members are just over 15% of our potential membership. Rep. Plakon insists his bill is about democracy, ensuring that the fate of workers isn’t controlled by a small minority.
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General Membership Meeting

The December 1st Executive Committee meeting has been designated a General Membership Meeting. While all EC meetings are open to our membership, we are encouraging anyone who would like to join the discussion of GAU’s political activity in the wake of the Presidential election to attend. We will weigh the pros and cons of specific actions against our overarching mission as a union, and discuss how best to represent our members moving forward. This is an opportunity to provide feedback and help shape our message.

The meeting will be from 10:45-12:15, in KRB 324, and will include other EC business as usual. If you cannot attend, but would like to share your thoughts, you can email our Political Action Chair, Chris Segal, at action@fsugau.org

Notice of Meeting
KRB 324
Thursday, December 1, 10:45am-12:15pm