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Expanding a union is hard work, especially in a “right-to-work” state like Florida, especially after a national election in which anti-union forces wrested control of the White House and Congress.

Don’t tell that to AFSCME affiliates in Florida.

For millions of Americans, retiring to Florida’s warmth, sun and sand is part of the reward for years of hard work. But former AFSCME members know that fighting hard for their rights and benefits doesn’t end once retirement begins.

If you’ve ever visited the Florida Keys, and spent any time off of dry land, then you’ve visited the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Established in 1990, the marine sanctuary stretches south from border of Miami-Dade County and west until you reach Dry Tortugas National Park.

The start of 2017 has seen a lot of heated discussion over what it means to be an American. Specifically, the rights enjoyed by those who call our country home.

Last week, the men and women who make one of America’s largest university by total enrollment happen semester after semester, overwhelmingly approved a new contract that balances professional and benefits victories.

Miami-Dade County is known for a lot of great things, but shared economic prosperity has not been one of those for the past few years. In fact, Bloomberg recently ranked Miami as the most economically unequal city in America. In fact, in just one year income disparity grew a mind-boggling 16.8 percent.

The leadership of AFSCME Local 2227 knew they had to think outside the box when it came to strengthening their voice at the bargaining table. Going into contract negotiations with Polk County School Board, they figured the best way to do that was to grow the local, easier said than done in a large district in a Right to Work For Less state like Florida.