Friday Status Report: Keep the Advocacy Going

Where We Are: A delay in reaching a state budget deal has extended the Legislative session until Monday. So, it is critically important that our activism continues so we can keep holding back legislation which would destroy workers ability to bargain effectively on issues such as wages and health insurance. 

The Good: The prospective good news is the budget agreed to by legislators contains long-overdue 5.38 percent across-the-board raises for state workers and a new $15/hour starting pay rate. According to media reports, the new pay scale will include all school district workers. AFSCME Florida President and International Vice President Vicki Hall said, “These historic increases to starting pay and significant across-the-board pay raises are well deserved and much appreciated.” We hope this increase sets a good precedence for bargaining for other units as well.  

The Bad: The bad news is that anti-worker House Bill 1197 passed the Florida House of Representatives. Anti-union organizations ran television ads, sent letters and made a full-court press to move it in the Senate as well. But it has remained stalled so far because of the calls, letters and work of union members and our allies across the state. Thanks to your work we have made it clear what is at stake and how the legislation hurts entire communities.  

AFSCME members

What’s Next: Please continue contacting Senators to let them know “We Make Florida Happen.” The Senate could still act on the legislation through a number of procedural tricks so we cannot rest until they gavel out of session.    

We head into the end of session with continued advocacy and sustained vigilance. Thank you for being a part of the solution through your calls, letters and attendance at meetings in district and in Tallahassee. It is member activism that builds union strength on the job and throughout the state.