Guest Column: AFSCME Florida Saved My Job

I am a dedicated employee of the Florida School for The Deaf and Blind In St. Augustine, Florida. Not long ago, I was wrongly accused of an infraction on the job and swiftly fired before I was able to defend myself against the accusation.  Needless to say, losing my job at FSDB was a terrifying experience and left me confused and hurt. I love my job and was absolutely certain that I had done nothing wrong so I reached out to my union for guidance. I wasn't sure what to expect but the outcome has left me uplifted and overwhelmed with gratitude.

My representative with AFSCME Local 3025 Torrence Johnson immediately came to my aid and sat down with me to explain the grievance process, an ordeal that wound up being one of the most difficult times of my life. The process took a year but Mr. Johnson and Local 3025 President Eyvolle Pamphile stuck by me, stood up for me, and eventually I we prevailed and I got my job and my life back.  I can never thank them enough.

This process has taught me the value of union membership and the meaning of solidarity in the workplace. If you work any place that has a Union, I strongly urge you to join. If you don’t have a union in your workplace, I highly recommend organizing one.  It can mean the difference between having a job and being on the street. To know that you have someone that is there and supports you and willling to fight on your behalf means more than you can imagine.  It installs a sense of security and confidence on the job in knowing you have a voice. As long as I am working, I am dedicated to standing with my Union.  Thank you AFSCME Local 3025, Torrence Johnson and my great interpreter for the deaf Eyvolle Pamphile for working so tirelessly on my behalf. I am forever grateful.  

-William Scott

(Mr. Scott is a deaf member of AFSCME Local 3025 at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and part of the Local's deaf interpretation and organizing team)