Paving The Way

Posted October 6, 2023

Brothers and Sisters,

This week I was assigned by our International Union to assist DC 78 representatives in Orlando, Florida. The IUPAT represents all support staff (office workers, custodians, campus monitors, bus drivers, etc.) in Florida Public Schools. 

On May 9th, 2023, Florida’s Governor DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 256. SB 256 requires that every collective bargaining unit have at least 60% dues paying membership. If a unit falls below the 60% mark, it can lead to “desertification”- meaning the contract and the right to collective bargain goes away.  If that happens, employees will have to wait a year before trying to regain the right to bargain and their guaranteed wages, hours, and working conditions will start from scratch. Thankfully, we are able to file a Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) election for employees to vote to keep their collective bargaining agreement. 

Our primary goal was to collect as many Authorization for Representation Cards from the membership. We need 30% of the membership to sign the cards so that we may file for an election with the Florida PERC.

We talked to many members listening to their concerns and stories or unacceptable working conditions. It was a successful week with many cards signed by the membership. 

This experience was a reminder of how hard work put in by previous labor leaders has paved the way for our current workforce. We must continue to stand in solidarity and keep fighting for working people to sustain what we have and ensure the rights for future trades workers.

In Solidarity, 

Tommy Sandoval

Business Representative DC16 Local 3

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