Earlier this week, the NBA’s Miami Heat held their Ninth Annual Black History Month Challenge at the AmericanAirlines Arena.


Bordered on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and on the other three by suburban sprawl, Florida’s Hallandale Beach has marketed itself as Broward County’s “City of Choice.” For the hardworking women and men of AFSCME Local 2009 who have turned that marketing phrase into a strong sense of community, the choice they faced when negotiating a new contract was to either accept the status quo or to win recognition for the hard work they do.

AFSCME members supported Florida educators at this important rally and lobby day. The following photos were submitted by AFSCME Local 850's Carol Sawyer, Tom Wenz and Rita Ware.

AFSCME Florida released the following statement from executive director Andy Madtes on Governor Rick Scott’s State of the State address:

“Governor Scott called for people to work together so Floridians can achieve their personal and professional dreams here in the Sunshine State. It is right to set ambitious goals but there must be a group dedicated to turning those into achievements, and that task falls to Florida’s state employees.

Sam Blittman understands that the key to a cross-country move is to find those things that make you feel at home. That’s why joining a union was one of the first things he thought of as he moved to Anchorage, Alaska.

And it’s also the first thing he thought of as he made his most recent move – again cross country – to the Tallahassee, Florida, area.

“My father was in a strong union, so my whole life I’ve known the importance and value that having a strong union has in a successful career, as well as helping better the community,” said Blittman.

The following story appeared on the Florida Bulldog site and can be found clicking here.

Florida’s coming war on collective bargaining for state employees

When Miami state Rep. Carlos Trujillo was interviewed on Spanish language radio station Actualidad 1020 he boldly proclaimed that Republicans will ask voters in 2018 to eliminate collective bargaining for state employees from the Florida Constitution.

Florida is negotiating a contract on working conditions for the nearly 14,000 members of AFSCME Florida employed by the state. While number of paid union members is small, the collective bargaining agreement will apply to all 98,000 members of the State Personnel System since Florida is a right-to-work state. The agreement expires June 30.

Contract negotiations are proceeding against the backdrop of Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget, which balances a $1 billion tax cut with no pay raises for the state workforce and elimination of 1,386 positions and a net reduction of 864 jobs.

Too often the dangers of outsourcing hit us when the proverbial train has already left the station, making the pushback efforts that much harder. So there’s a good feeling when you can get ahead of the curve.

This week in Florida, the men and women of the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department, proud members of AFSCME Local 121, strongly pushed back against even the idea of outsourcing a new water treatment plant that hasn’t even been built yet.

The city of DeFuniak Springs lies just north of Interstate 10 in a part of the Florida panhandle that is physically closer to Alabama than the Gulf Coast. And for the members of AFSCME Local 3918, the opinions about unions held by the community, city leaders and even many of their coworkers reflect this as well.