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AFSCME Local 1584 members approved an agreement which increases salaries and provides a retention bonus.

Local 10 Tampa Bay News quoted Local President Deena Howell. "I think overall we have a great contract and everyone from the administration to the employees demonstrated a lot of passion and commitment in coming to this agreement," she said.

Howell has been a school bus driver with the district for 17 years and said many like her had started to feel over-worked and undervalued.

When contract negotiations started last fall, Jackson Health System workers had weathered multiple surges of COVID-19.

The hardworking front-line staff of South Florida’s largest public safety-net health system were hopeful that their next Local 1363 (AFSCME Florida) contract would recognize how they pulled together to serve their community even when patients levels were high and staffing levels were battered by infections, burnout and more.

It did.

Following the explosive story by Lawrence Mower on the lack of transparency for state workers concerning COVID-19 exposure, the editorial board for Florida's largest newspaper weighed in. 

On Monday, September 27, Lawrence Mower, the Tallahassee Correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times / Miami Herald group, wrote an extensive piece detailing how state workers have been left in the dark, on purpose, about COVID issues in the workplace. 

"Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to keep Florida open has been felt acutely by many state workers, some of whom have been among the earliest to return to in-office meetings," he writes. 

AFSCME FLORIDA Council 79 Elects New Officers

Orlando – The men and women of AFSCME Florida Council 79 elected new officers at their convention, held March 29 to March 30 in Orlando. The new officers are as follows:

For almost four years, as attacks against organized labor reached a fever pitch nationwide, AFSCME members in Florida responded by launching a fierce and unprecedented organizing campaign unlike any the Sunshine State had seen before. Today, members started writing a new chapter in their union’s proud history by ratifying a new constitution on the first day of the AFSCME Florida Council 79's convention. 

For two decades, the dedicated employees at Florida's State Mental Hospitals have tried to convey to lawmakers the perilous nature of the work they do day in and day out. These tireless public servants work directly with individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity or who have been found to be a danger to themselves or to others.

I have always believed in unions. When I was presented with the opportunity to join AFSCME upon accepting a job with DCF, I did not hesitate. That would prove to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. After less than a year on the job, I was assigned to a new position without proper training. Rather than providing coaching, I was terminated abruptly. Losing my job was devastating for me because I was a new resident of Florida with no family and very few associates. The absence of a viable support system weighed heavily on me.