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Earlier this summer, Economic Self-Sufficiency Specialists within the Department of Children and Families worked with AFSCME Florida staff representatives to challenge a policy that limited how the

No politician running for office today would openly advocate for more wealth inequality in our country, where the richest 1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of the wealth. Even candidate Donald Trump in 2016 promised to stand up for the “forgotten men and women of our country,” who feel betrayed by a rigged economic system that benefits a small minority at their expense. Yet every single day, President Trump and congressional leaders seem determined to do more to increase wealth inequality than to alleviate it; do more for corporations and the wealthy than for single parents working two or three jobs to make ends meet.

The following op-ed ran in the January 20 Sun Sentinel

Florida is a large and diverse state. In the time and distance it takes to drive from Pensacola to Key West, you could drive from Madison, Wisc., to Washington, D.C. During those more than twelve hours of non-stop driving, more than 400 more people would have moved into the country's third most populated state.

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. http://on.fb.me/1Q3sBOi

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.