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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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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Amendment to SB 984 Best Chance for Fees Legislation

Our efforts to combat fees through the Florida Legislature have seen enormous support this year. We have one more chance to make real progress on this issue. Senator Maria Sachs has introduced an amendment to SB 984 that adopts some of the language from HB 1311. It seeks to waive certain fees for GAs in Florida; these fees are directly related to our employment and supporting it should be a no-brainer!
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Fee Waiver Legislation Progress

Today, the Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee voted unanimously to pass HB 1311, introduced by Michelle Rehwinkle Vasilinda, which would waive certain fees for GAs on at least a 0.25 FTE. The bill must now pass the Education Appropriations Subcomittee and the full Education Committee.

Read more about it, including some of the testimony provided by our members, here.

You can also watch video coverage of the meeting here. Our bill begins at ca. 12:22, Chris Segal is ca.14:40; Kerr Ballenger-Fazzone is ca.18:40, and Rachel McCleery is ca. 21:15.